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Evolution of a Collage with acrylic and rice paper

I started this collage last year, in the summer of 2007. It has taken me one year to finish it. That is the longest it has ever taken me to finish a collage. With this particular one, my emotions were still very raw following the death of my Father. I felt disconnected from my world and overpowered by my feelings. Hoping to communicate how I felt, I started this collage. The first image shows the collage in June 2007. The top of the collage was not melding well with the lower half. The words on her shoulder say "make the world go away." I continued to add to the piece. It eventually became a big mess as seen in the right picture. And in August 2007, I stopped working on it.

For a year it hung in my studio. I contemplated throwing it away as I did not want the reminder of the past. At the same time, I felt it was a hurdle I needed to leap. With the advent of my solo exhibition, I decided it was time to finish it. I removed as many layers of the collage as possible. It took about two days as it was a slow and meticulous task. This removal of layers was symbolic for me, resulting in a change of my emotions. Instead of expressing my wish to escape, I wanted to remember. The poppy has four petals: each petal symbolising a member in my family. Throughout history, scarlet poppies have been associated with death and remembrance. So the red petal is in remembrance of my Dad. The metallic paint was too shiny, so I toned it down before varnishing. The final collage was completed in August 2008 and is titled, Presence II: Remembrance.

45.5 cm width x 53.1 cm height


Chris Stone said…
What a beautiful remembrance and wonderful piece. Its very affecting. Thank you for sharing!

Sorry to hear about your loss! I never knew that about red poppies.
Amanda said…
It's a very beautiful piece. I am sorry about your loss, but I think you're right. This is something you needed to do, and now you'll always have this beautiful work as remembrance.
I'm glad you took pictures along the way to document the transformation of both your art and your emotions.
LazyTcrochet said…
It is beautiful. What a transition. Thanks for sharing. Now I truly understand it!
GalleryJuana said…
Thanks for coming by, everyone.
I am glad I had pics to document the process too!
Julie said…
Thank you so much for sharing your process and all the emotions that surrounded it. It's a lovely piece.
What a beautiful outcome..lovely picture..The first shows your hurt with your loss..and now how you have handled it..Wonderful..
gentryart said…
Your story and artwork really moved me, thank you! Congratulations on taking this big step to move forward with your grief. Just take it one step at a time.
GalleryJuana said…
Julie, rosebud and gentry, thank you for your lovely comments. I am amazed at how strongly my emotions shaped this collage.
very nice...I love the symbolism... :)
very nice...I love the symbolism... :)
Joy Logan said…
When my mom died I went thru alot of loss and emotion too. I found art helpful. But the mourning takes a long time.
Juana!!! This collage is GORGEOUS!! I just got back from my overseas trip and was absolutelt delighted to catch up on your news. What a lovely surprise! Keep going!!!! You've got it, girl!

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