Building on our collage activities, this week we will focus on Assemblage, taking inspiration from artists who utilised this method in their artwork including two that we have shown in the past year – Derek Jarman and Candida Powell-Williams.
Assemblage art incorporates everyday objects into artwork. Assemblage refers to a particular form that developed out of intellectual and artistic movements at the beginning of the 20th century. The practice began about 1911–12 with the Cubist collages of Picasso (who we looked at last week) and Georges Braque. Art movements such as Dada and Surrealism also explored the possibilities of assemblage, and the artist Marcel Duchamp created ready-mades from industrial and natural objects. Below are some artists who used this method in their artworks:
One of the most well-known artists who has used this method was Joseph Cornell (b. 1903 – d.1972). His art was born of his love for collecting and although he never left New York, he was fascinated by travel. He would browse book shops, antique and pound stores, buying engravings, prints, photographs and other objects that interested him. Cornell did not travel much, preferring to stay in New York but collecting and making art were the ways in which his imagination explored the world. He was largely self-taught in his artistic efforts. Cornell is best known for his pioneering use of collage and assemblage. He created shadow boxes – glass-fronted boxes containing arrangements of found materials.
The American artist Louise Nevelson (b.1899 – d. 1988) was known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. She utilized wooden objects that she gathered from urban debris piles to create her monumental installations. these room-sized pieces are formed from discarded pieces of wood the artist would receive or find.
Derek Jarman used collage in his GBH paintings that were recently on view in Void. He built up the surface using newspaper and paint to create a multi layered work and in his sculptures. Jarman used found materials including broken glass, tar and action figures. His diaries included drawings, photographs, plans, storyboards and organic materials including feathers and flowers.
For this week’s activity, why not use these artists for inspiration this week and create your own found art sculpture? Gather materials including:
- Old shoeboxes or any used cardboxes that you have lying around. You can use the lids too.
- Pens, pencils and Markers
- Take a walk in your garden and collect old bits of twigs, leaves and wood
- Used wrapping paper and tissue paper
- Old toilet roll tubes, egg boxes
- Other recycled materials, like buttons, lids, fabric, etc.
- Any old toys you might be finished with
Your sculpture could stand on its own or like Joseph Cornell’s, maybe it is built out of a box.
Look through all the materials that you have collected and decide what you want to use first. You don’t have to use everything – choose your favourites from your collection and begin to build a sculpture, maybe it will be a robot or maybe it is abstract. Just keep building by adding your favourite materials, wrapping sticking and gluing.
Collage week – 23-27 March
This week we are going to explore artists who have used collage to create their artworks. Collage is from the French coller, which means "to glue" or "to stick together. It is a technique of art creation, primarily used in the visual arts, but in music too, by which art results from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
We will look at 4 artists: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Lee Krasner and Louise Bourgeois. Each used collage in different ways as part of their artistic practice. We have shared some information on the artists below, along with suggestions of an activity that is inspired by the artist. Get creating and don’t forget to share your artworks in our Void Online Facebook group and tag us @derryvoid on Instagram with #HomeIsWhereTheArtIs.
Pablo Picasso (b.1881-d.1973)
Picasso was born in Spain, Malaga in 1881. From an early age he loved to draw and by the age of eight, Pablo Picasso could draw more realistically than his art teacher. He was brilliant at drawing and loved colour. As his technique developed, he began to experiment with new ways of drawing people and objects. Picasso invented a new style of art called Cubism. Cubism aimed to show all of the possible viewpoints of a person or an object all at once. It is called Cubism because the items represented in the artworks look like they are made out of cubes and other geometrical shapes.
Picasso created art with everything from café tablecloths to newspaper cuttings. He created sculptures with torn and burnt pieces of paper, assembled collages, and worked with pastel, gouache and watercolour.
Take a look at Picasso’s work The Weeping Woman here
Activity: Why not use this work as an inspiration for creating your own self portrait inspired by Picasso using paper for drawing and collage?
Henri Matisse (b.1869-d.1954)
As a painter, Matisse believed that the arrangement of colours was as important as subject matter to communicate meaning. His works ranged from portraits, interior scenes, still-lifes and sculpture to large decorative schemes, including murals, stage designs and stained glass windows.
The paper cut-outs that Matisse made during the last years of his life are among his most vibrant and joyous creations. Too weak to stand at an easel, Matisse ‘drew with scissors’, carving directly into coloured paper, scissoring our shapes and collaging them into paintings.
Take a look at Matisses’s artwork The Snail here
Activity – Let’s create a still life with collage. Do you have a bunch of flowers or bowl of fruit in your house?
Bring together lots of different coloured paper! Matisse’s cut-outs were full of colour and joy. Let’s make our artworks as colourful as possible! Now cut out different shapes anad patterns and assemble them so they look like the still-life.
Lee Krasner (b.1908-d.1984)
Lenore Krasner was an American abstract expressionist painter in the second half of the 20th century. Krasner is identified as an abstract expressionist due to her abstract, gestural, and expressive works. Although the art has no subject, it is trying to convey some kid of emotion. She worked in painting, collage painting, charcoal drawing, and occasionally mosaics. She would often cut apart her own drawings and paintings to create her collage paintings. In 1952-53, she began to unstretch, slash, tear and cut up canvases in a way that emphasized their edges.
You can see one of Lee Krasners well known collages Milkweed here
Activity: Make your own abstract expressionist collage painting! Don’t worry about making it look like anything, just have fun painting and collaging with different materials.
Louise Bourgeois (b.1911-d.2010)
Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art. She was also a prolific painter and printmaker.
She started "fabric drawing" by the mid 1990's by assorting old napkins, table cloths and other assorted materials collected over a lifetime into a series of collages and sculptures. Although her connection to fabric goes back to her childhood years when she helped out in her family's tapestry restoration workshop. Throughout her life, Bourgeois hoarded clothes and household items which she cut up, re-stitched and transformed into art.
Read more about Louise's work here.
Activity: Do you have any old clothes, socks with holes, some ribbons or string hanging around our house? Why not create an abstract art work using them and some paint?
Today, take inspiration from all the artists that we have looked at this week and create an artwork that is inspired by where you live – your house, your garden, your town.
What you need: different type paper, some fabric, natural materials like leaves and twigs, glue, scissors, paint, your imagination!
Make sure your parent or guardian shows you how to use the scissors safely and for small children use a plastic scissors.
Use the scissors in different ways – maybe some short little snips, then some longer cuts and try some curves rather than just straight lines.
Create shapes with straight edges, curved edges, softer torn edges, rough textures, smooth textures.
Create texture with materials found in nature including found dried leaves, pine needles, twigs, seeds.
Until further notice, Void Gallery is closed.
Void Gallery is currently closed because of the current pandemic, COVID-19. We are postponing all upcoming events. Please see below for details;
Over the coming weeks, we look forward to bringing you content through our social media channels so stay tuned for virtual tours of our exhibition, ideas to keep the kids occupied, and suggestions for reading material and films inspired by Void’s programme
We will continue to monitor this extraordinary situation and will reopen when it is safe to do so. Our staff continue to work so please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions. You will find our contact details on our website [are our emails on the website]
Looking forward to seeing you when we reopen the Gallery
From all of us at Void, stay safe, stay connected and stay creating.
Family programme – Void Tots and Easter workshop
Void Tots (scheduled for the 21st of March) and the Easter workshop (4th of April) will be postponed. We are working on getting refunds to all who have booked and stay tuned to facebook where we will be posting activities for the kids and online workshop sessions.
Silver tongued Deviance
Our monthly poetry night is postponed until further notice
Curatorial Ethics workshop, 24th April – POSTPONED
The Curatorial Ethics workshop will now take place in Autumn 2020, date to be confirmed. If you have purchased a ticket, this will still be valid. We will be in contact with those who have purchased tickets directly.
The Walker Plinth commission – APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED, APRIL19TH
Due to the current circumstances, we have decided to extend the deadline for the Walker Plinth commission until April 19th. We are planning to work with community groups as part of this project, it may be through online platforms and/ or through questionnaires. This will also mean our schedule will change and evolve over the coming weeks and months in conversation with the chosen artists.