This year (2016) when I asked my young artists to conceptualize paintings for an art competition I was pleasantly surprised that the medium was collage. It was a challenge to explain the concept to my young students but once they grasped the concept they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This is apparent in the amazing paintings produced and the number of medals they received.
When I was pursuing my MBA from Allahabad University in the early 1980’s we participated in an inter-college group poster making competition. Some of the topics were ‘India today’ and ‘drugs’ and the medium was collage. Most participants were not aware that one needs to use coloured paper from magazines to complete the work. We completed with glue and torn bits of paper stuck on our poster bringing out the message loud and clear.
The term collage is actually a French verb ‘coller’ which means to glue. So basically it means to stick things to a surface. A collage artist creates a new painting with bits and pieces of different materials and assembling them together by gluing. The most commonly used materials are magazine paper, handmade paper, other artworks, photographs glued to paper or a canvas. Some found objects, fabric, gold, gemstones or feathers etc. are also used.
Today we are spoilt for choice. Looking for specific greens in a magazine for shading is now easier with coloured printers in most households. High quality prints available with a very wide selection of wall and handmade paper, embossed and gilded is an artist’s paradise. Polymer emulsions, gels, synthetic glues, photocopying and computer generated images are all raw materials for the modern Collagists. These material are used instead of paint or colour to create the artwork.
Collage is challenging as we pull apart or tear, in a sense destroy before using the same to create something new and whole. It seems like the cycle of birth and rebirth, as you destroy to create.
Below are my students with the paintings visualized executed by them. Next to them is the image of their work with their awards. These awards have been conferred on them in various age categories.
1. Gold Medal, Vasundhra Jaiswal, Class Prep, Topic ‘Anything of your Choice’
2. Gold Medal, Aditi Azad, Class 2, Topic ‘ Christmas’
3. Gold Medal, Aanvi Jalan, Class 4, Topic ‘My clean City’
4. Gold Medal, Ananya Mehra, Class 6, Topic ‘My clean City’
5. Gold Medal, Aarushi Kalsi, Class 6, Topic ‘My clean City’
6. Gold Medal, Mehul Chhabra, Class 8, Topic ‘Women Empowerment’
7. Silver Medal, Aryaman Mehra, Class 3, Topic ‘My clean City’
8. Silver Medal, Dia Chauhan, Class 6, Topic ‘Women Empowerment’
9. Silver Medal, Anannya Jalan, Class 8, Topic ‘My clean City’
10. Silver Medal, Naina Kalra, Class 8, Topic ‘My clean City’
11. Bronze Medal, Alia Mohan, Class Prep, Topic ‘Anything of your Choice’
12. Bronze Medal, Aman Malhotra, Class KG, Topic ‘My clean City’
13. Bronze Medal, Aima Handique, Class 1, Topic ‘Anything of your Choice’
14. Bronze Medal, Sidharth Jaiswal, Class 1, Topic ‘My clean City’
15. Bronze Medal, Shreeya V. Nair, Class 4, Topic ‘My clean City’
16. Bronze Medal, Riya Varma, Class 4, Topic ‘My clean City’