To The Sea

Some of you may remember, on our 2014 Summer holiday to France I had a frustrated attempt at making a travel based collage, a la Kurt Schwitters. I also had a couple of abstract attempts to represent water, and at the time I wondered if I might combine the two ideas.

Last weekend I came across the bag of travel tickets I kept from the trip and decided to pursue the combination idea. I cut and played with a number of shapes and thoughts, before deciding on this:

To The Sea

The tickets pieces are intended to represent the journey itself, and the kind of plant life you might find in the sea – that’s the idea at least!

I had several attempts at playing with this design and it changed a lot on the way. The big spray of tickets in the middle took a while to form in my mind, and once it did, the rest came quite quickly.

Unfortunately I can’t find most of the earlier photographs, but here are the final tweaks as the design came to life. This piece is on 24 x 32 cm 270 g/m2 water colour paper.

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The Point of the Journey

We have been travelling around France, basing ourselves in Paris, Lyon, Clermont Ferrand, Avignon and Cagnes sur mer. It’s a lovely adventure, visiting places for the first time and revisiting some favourites too.

As we travelled, I’m reminded of Kurt Schwitters – who sometimes used bus tickets (and other bits and pieces you inevitably pick up when you travel) in his art. I began to think about using a collage of our various tickets to try and represent our journey.

I figured I would try and cut shapes from tickets then try and match them all up into a perfect fitting jigsaw of travel. I sat at the table in our apartment in Clermont Ferrand and began. I cut the first shape – easy peasy. I began to cut more shapes and quickly realised that this was proving much more tricky than I first imagined. The light was poor and I had a small pair of scissors; the harder I tried – the poorer the fit between the pieces became. I cut and fiddled and positioned and repositioned, getting nowhere.

The Point of The JourneyWhat you see here is the result of about four hours work – four hours! There’s really not much more to say about this scrap of work except that it really brought home to me the notion of ‘the point of the journey is not to arrive’. This odd endeavour has left me with a big stack of travel junk which I plan to revisit and try to create some kind of collage/mixed media work with. For now though – I need a break from bus and train tickets.


The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

In the Summer of 2013 I went to a fascinating exhibition of Kurt Schwitters’ work at Tate Britain. I went on the off chance and was bowled over by his use of collage and other mixed media. After the exhibition I headed off to join some friends for a drink. I was really looking forward to our get together, and inspired by my trip to the exhibition I bought a glue stick and some scissors and made this collage, titled ‘The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things’ while I waited for my friends to arrive. We ended up having a great fun evening in London and this small collage serves as a powerful memory to me of the importance of friendship.

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things