Collage has been recognised as a fine art medium since George Braque and Pablo Picasso experimented with papers in the Cubist phase of French Art in 1912. From the 1920s, many major artists including Joan Miro and Slavador Dali use collage in their graphic explorations. In 1947, Henri Matisse cut directly into pre-coloured paper to create simplified compositions that had a profound influence on twentieth century art. The medium has been used by artists ever since. Four by Four
In the case of Collage to Stitch, the collage, instead of being the end product, is the means to the end.
Four by Four is a group of passionate textile artists – Sandra Obst, Ruth Galpin, Maxine Fry and Suzanne Gummow – always on the look-out for a challenge.
Following a workshop in developing ideas in collage, the four set themselves such a challenge: create one postcard sized collage a day. In itself, that is a massive undertaking.
They worked with all sorts of papers – commercial (eg wrapping paper), old, new, handmade, decorated, printed, dyed, hand-coloured, even those from magazines and sometimes with typography.
Once a month, they would meet to discuss their efforts and to set a new theme to follow for the next.
In addition, each month, they committed to creating an A4 sized textile work, based on a collage and in preparation for a larger exhibition piece. When you see these pieces, you will have no trouble appreciating the scale of the project.
Collage to Stitch is the culmination of this work.
It features sixteen large pieces (75 x 45cm), accompanied by a selection of related collages and one A4 piece. Each artist has been responsible for four such sets.
The exhibition has toured regionally, interstate and internationally and is now showing at Mrs Harris’ Shop. Touring is almost complete, with only two more regional stops to go.
For the first time, the works are for sale, but please be aware that they will not be available until touring is completed at the end of September. A small deposit will secure your purchase.
For those who would like to make an immediate purchase, the artists have been continuously working on more A4 pieces. They follow the ideas germinated at the collage step and some are quite similar to those featured in the exhibition. And, as an added bonus, they have each created a collection of greeting cards, some featuring photographs of the collages, others of the textile works themselves.
Pop in to the gallery to see these beautiful works at close quarters. It’s not hard to see the dedication and discipline that Sandra, Ruth, Maxine and Suzanne have devoted to this project.
Each artist has her own style and the range of interpretations is vast. The colours are sensational, the various techniques employed will leave you wanting to know more!
One of the artists will be in the gallery at each opening – they love chatting about the project and each is familiar with the others’ work.
It’s a great opportunity too, if you are keen to learn more about textile art. Not only can they tell you about the pieces in the exhibition, but they can also give you some ideas about how to learn to create your own textile art through various courses of study.
Collage to Stitch is on show on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am – 3pm until 11 February.