Collage. The simple art of cutting and pasting. I have two reason to talk about this. The first is that I have some personal projects in the pipelines, and I am very excited to be working in this way again. The second is the much more noteworthy and far superior Hannah Hoch exhibition in the Whitechapel gallery, running until the 23rd March, 2014. Hoch’s work is transcendent, remaining as relevant and powerful as it surely must have been during her Dada beginnings in the early 20th century. Her origins were in illustration and embroidery and it was interesting to see how a female, using typically “female” artforms created works of art that do not scream “WOMAN ARTIST”. They are surreal, humorous and asethetically pleasing, but not what you would consider to be gender defined work.
Although often overlooked and brushed aside as a pursuit of the female hobbyist or the twee crafts, collage has a greater influence than perhaps we realise. Surely it is the surrealism of laying things that don’t belong together that is the foundation of fashion, just as with collage. Leather and lace? Collage. Wool and silk? Collage. The idiosyncrasy of collage permeates fashion from overt patterned surrealism to the nuance of mixing textures. It’s not just the Ashish’s and JCDC’s that owe something to this way of thinking. Autumn Winter 14-15’s collections are full of subtle and not-so-subtle collages of ideas. Darth Vader on a Morrocan tile print? Yes, Preen, I’m talking to you.
images via vogue.com