Tag Archives: creativity

Redaction and Collage

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“Scripture Fragment” 2016 DS

The penny has dropped. The light bulb has gone on. Redaction and collage are the same. One pieces together the writings of others. The other gathers and glues found images. The author/artist unites them with a few of her own ideas. What could be better?

These seem to be very postmodern pastimes. Yet they are each ancient practices. DeSilva a Bible scholar and Rauschenberg a prolific artist of found objects may make strange companions but have worked in similar ways.

Redaction criticism of the Gospels pays particular attention to the differences between each fragment of text preserved. These differences cannot be collapsed together without losing the authentic voice of each of the four Evangelists. They serve an important purpose. That said, in piecing together the Jesus sayings, the redactors see that they form a related whole.

In my mind, the redactors of the ancient texts are actually like collagists. They take what is there and fit the pieces together like skilled artists use binder. The Spirit helps the redactors of Scripture like rabbit skin glue or synthetic medium promotes the harmonization of disparate images do for the artist. Authentic meaning is both discovered and made:

Presentation of the passage often connects directly with the themes or topics that are of greatest interest to the Evangelist.

Taken from (An Introduction to the New Testament by David A. deSilva)

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) took 2D and 3D fragments of everyday life: a bed, a goat, a tire, or a bird, or a newspaper item, mixing together elements of high and low art to present to the world his unique skill in portraying both art and life. Memories of childhood fragments influenced his masterful work:

His mother, Dora, was a devout Christian and a frugal woman. She made the family’s clothes from scraps, a practice that embarrassed her son, but possibly influenced his later work with assemblages and collage.

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-rauschenberg-robert.htm

Redaction must be one of the most basic activities of life. Go for the gold then, when a surfeit is received. The opposite venture leads to a ‘less is more’ way. We gather and we purge, write and redact. We create paintings and we sell them. We birth children, then we say goodbye to them. Art and life are collaged by the Spirit.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

(Book of Ecclesiastes)

No One is an Island

 

‘No Man is an Island’

No man is an island entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,

As well as if a promontory were,

As well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;

Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

 

Year 1624 MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne (1572-1631)

The language is outdated but the sentiment remains.  We are affected by those around us – for good or for ill.  We influence our circle whether worldwide or village narrow. In this as in everything who we are and what we do as a person matters.

Yet as in our solitude we create, in our community we recreate each using our gifts.  We do not really operate alone.  Like these workshops in contemplation and creativity others are generously involved:

–       mentors, friends and participants

–       pray-ers, encouragers and supporters

–       those that introduce and recommend

–       administrative support, advertising, hiring

–       those that provide space, clean up, coffee

–       those who have trained and graded and 

–       those who take a chance

–       suppliers of glue sticks and scissors

–       laughers and criers

–       those who affirm the calling and ignore weaknesses

–       those who long for rest, for creativity, for connection with God

thank you

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Collage Techniques

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“Chloe” 2013 DS found paper collage 8 1/2″ x 11″

 

BASIC COLLAGE TECHNIQUES:

 

We follow Schwitters’ tradition of using found paper collage for personal expression.  This activity is about mark-making and seeing what the art media will produce under our hands.  It is about creativity, a celebration of life and an expression of what it means to be human.  No marks are a mistake and can be incorporated into the overall image. Papers can be flattened and stapled, torn or cut out and glue stick rubbed on the back.

 

To make your work interesting consider the following design ideas:

– overall design can be formal as paintings or adding papers in a certain shape for example, a cross, a circle, a triangle or square or informal making an overall design or anything you can think of

-line variation e.g thick or thin, straight or wavy

– repetition brings unity – if you make a circle, repeat it somewhere else in the image

– size – the scale of objects can be changed

– different textures e.g. shiny, rough, patterned, plain, stiff

– introduce a colour theme or use all of them

“Snow Day” 2013 DS

Today I went back to bed. I made the necessary calls to cancel my appointments. It is a snow day. In fact at noon the snow is still falling.

There have been a lot of workshops this month and I am exhausted. However, I could not sleep. What happened was that, as I lay there, heaped with covers, trying to get warm, my basic coldness kept me kind of awake. My mind conceived or rather received, several new ideas for workshops in the New Year.

Often my best work is done when I do not plan it. This is what keeps me to a contemplative path. A snow day becomes an unexpected retreat day – what Richard Rohr in his book “Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer” calls a sacred space, a liminal space, where we are led to let go and to somehow be transformed. It becomes a period of time away from our normal everyday life. We are able to see things in a new way.

Today I am kidnapped by the Spirit for a beauty day – a white day, a quiet day where my schedule is interrupted. This moment I am in awe of the largest of flakes, of the crackling sound on the screen window; of the swirling of the flakes in various directions simultaneously.

Surely this scene is the Self-expression of God:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

I notice that my breathing pattern changes. This over-abundance of snow that is more than the branches can hold seems like this prophetic word:

I will [ ] open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 10:6b

Yes, even in my fatigue I have received the “spiritual creativity” Rohr writes about that God gives when we relinquish control for a while and trust in God’s work “in the darkness.” Not only am I rested; I am revived to return to my goal-oriented lifestyle.