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Collages and Assemblages

By Béa Aaronson

Life is a collage assemblage!

All our little and big moments, experiences, emotions, thoughts, and actions are scattered through space and time. They hang in time, waiting to make sense, and what do we do to give them sense? We cut and glue—metaphorically, in that we re-organize, dis-organize, edit, and paste. We “re-member” to create the collage of life. And it does not have to make sense all the time. Nonsense can be beautifully refreshing!

“Collages and Assemblages”
Work by Béa Aaronson
Sat, Mar 4, 5–8pm
Atelier Stellis
Fábrica La Aurora, Local 1B3

Since childhood, when we were given scissors that did not cut too well, bits of paper, magazines, coloring books, and a marvelous little pot de colle (French for glue), which we deliciously spread with a flat spoon, we instantly knew what to do.

I am feeling this joy again, some 50 years later, as I painstakingly cut thousands of images, with sharp tiny scissors, meticulously cutting along or across the shapes, to create “mis-meanings.” Sometimes I tear them¾I love the furry edges; they enhance life. Assemblages are simply collages in three dimensions. The ingredients differ: wood, metal, ceramics, a bit of this and that, discarded or found objects, my hair, bones, twigs, glass eyes—anything works as long as it weathers well. Assemblages may present themselves on a flat substrate, which can be hung like a painting, or become a free-standing sculpture. I use nails, screws, and epoxy glue to sustain their weight.

When I weld, the same process vibrates in my head and hands. I collect hundreds of metal pieces, from tiny to large; some figurative, some nonfigurative; and I lay them on my floor.

Collages and assemblages are liberating art forms. There are no rules, no right or wrong. It is you, your imagination, and the ingredients. Inspiration knows no boundaries, which can be therapeutically empowering. In the history of art, there have been numerous collage/assemblage artists, beginning with Braque and Picasso and their Cubist papiers collés, to the Dada and Surrealist creators who used collage to vent their political and emotional issues. Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, Raoul Haussmann, John Heartfield, Louise Bourgeois, and Niki de St Phalle are among my favorites.

Today, collage is used in publicity, movies, and music. The idea of connecting fragments that are not always connectable, and the idea of startling/destabilizing the mind and its limited logic perception, remains.

In this exhibition of my collaged/assembled “Babies,” you will see images that ooze poetical eroticism, serious and humoristic surrealism, expressionism, esthetic constructivism, as well as socio-political visual shouts. Whether figurative or not, I invite you to discover what’s in my head and heart. You will be amused, provoked, maybe even moved. But one thing is sure, you will not be bored!


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