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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Collage process

The collage portion of this project grew from my use of the Gelli plate and the mockup I prepared for my peer review tutorial. In particular I was interested in the influence of the background on the affective impact of the image. My mockup consisted of three layers: textured background, figure (digital photographic self-portrait) and linework superimposed on the figure. Eliminating the background and making the linework more prominent resulted in a mask-like self-portrait discussed earlier.

For these collages I concentrated on the background layer, leaving the figure as a simple static image.

The background was built from torn portions of my gelli plate prints. I was roughly guided by the composition of my mockup with the predominant direction of lines being up and down the page. The darker columns of tone at the far right echoed at the leftmost edge are common to the three collages.

My collection of trials, rejects and edges of gelatin prints became a library of marks and colours from which I could select elements for collage. The colour pallette for each collage is quite limited.

I worked on two or three of the collages at a time, adding marks by pasting in torn strips with fluid matte medium and subtracting by scraping back with a blade or sandpaper.

Once each background was more or less complete I printed the figure. I used the same photographic washi paper as for my Skies prints. It proved to be just translucent when glued down. The light weight of the paper allowed the figure to blend with the background rather than sit forward.

I decided to leave these works as simply the figure on the complex background. The effect reminds me of paste-ups and city walls where posters have been torn down or degraded over time. At the same time, the photographic self-portrait provides a place for the eye to rest and serves as a commentary on the untold story of the background.

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