I approached this project by investigating further artists, Kurt Schwitters, Pablo Picasso, Tom Lovelace, Lorenzo Vitturi, Robert Rauschenberg, Sarah Sze, Betye Sarr, as well as searching the web for assemblage work and watching videos on Youtube regarding it.
I am a massive fan of color. Naturally, I particularly appreciated the practice of Lorenzo Vitturi. I adore his use of it, as well as the abstract concepts. Likewise, I felt very inspired by the works of Bety Saar and Kurt Switters for similar reasons.
”I’m emotionally listening to the objects, telling me what to do”.
Afterward, I dug out my memory box with hundreds of notes, poems, objects, and memorabilia from the last 30 years or longer. I scattered it all over the kitchen floor, and looked for inspiration, wondered which pathway to take. I experimented with a few different arrangements, but when I was not satisfied with the results, I began another project.
I especially aspired to produce a piece with my old hair that I discovered in the memory box.
I attempted to compose a story of Ela. It comprised of my hair, a poem in Polish I wrote when I was perhaps thirteen or fourteen, my old student card ID from 2006 when I studied English in Poland, some of my early digital art from the same period, and a drawing of me by my niece, age 3. I was excited about the concept but not as convinced regarding the outcome. I believe that I did not execute it very well, and I might revisit this idea upon further reflection on how to put it collectively, so it feels right.
I selected to do something rather minimalist, recognizing what I have learned from my collage practice, that sometimes less is more, and married assemblage and collage. I coated an inside of a wooden box with carpet, cut out few images of a leaflet from the Aurillac Street Art Festival in France from 2009 (https://www.aurillac.net/index.php/en/), which was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I placed them in a frame, installing a colorful paper in the background to bring out the images. The antique carpet and cherished memory put together in a frame represent my journey through the nostalgia lane I took earlier that morning when I browsed the testimony of the last 30 years of my life. I believe that the composition formulated practically without thinking, influenced by this experience. Inspired by numerous assemblages I examined, and resolved to incorporate spool thread and placed it in the center. Spools of thread represent to me the time we have to live. Eventually, the thread correspondingly to our life will end. Meanwhile, we possess the potential to tailor, to shape our own reality, and experience incredible souls, places, and feelings. Let’s make it count before the thread reaches the end.
Moreover, I experimented with a matryoshka doll, my hair, and my Polish poem, but not sure if I will finalize that project as I consider I haven’t found the right mood with it yet.
Inspired by Joseph Cronwell, I elected to design a personality box. In a tiny space, I put together objects, photographs, and images that express me and my identity. Analogously to my narrowboat, the box is full of items, all in a limited place yet, working together in symbiosis.
Following a tutorial and advice from Alan Jones, I settled on a naturally busy and colorful background for photographing the personality box instead of my original idea to shoot it against a white canvas. Alan pointed out that my space is itself a kind of assemblage, and it would serve ideally as a backdrop.
I was quite delighted when the weekly project commenced, but sincerely, after working on it for a few days, I found it more difficult than I thought it would be. I observed that the idea of an assemblage is much more accessible to me than the actual practice. I found it significantly more challenging than I expected to partner objects together and achieve a satisfying outcome.
Nevertheless, I certainly appreciate the task, particularly how it’s connected with collage, the freedom of it, and the essential engagement of the best tool at our hands, the imagination.