To slice a collage

Claire Manning, Slice 1, 2013
Claire Manning, ‘To slice n.02’, 2013 – work in progress

So far, I’ve tried making three versions of the object abuse collages, with somewhat mixed results. Here’s the first of them – TO SLICE – which feels like one of those instant successes that happen so infrequently — simple, strong, effective.

Random cuts didn’t work for me, but shifting to an approach where the cut removed specific areas such as dark shade or strands of hair was far more successful. In this instant it seems to me the slice operates more in the nature of a drawn line to delineate and edit.

Image choice seems vital. The approach didn’t work on another image pairing I tried but this one seems ideal as both the coloured and black and white images have sufficient details to trigger the cuts.

What remains doesn’t need to be fixed down and in the example shown here I’ve clipped it to a mirrored surface. Although this isn’t easy to capture in a photograph, this allows the paper layers to move slightly, giving them 3-dimensionality.

Use of clips allows / encourages re-arrangement and also confers the risk things may fall apart — something that fits well with the conceptual thinking behind the work. The clips work well but I might test alternative models — stainless steel bull-dog clips or the more streamlined Rapesco Supaclip system.

Use of the mirror as a support surface allows reflection to subtly pull both viewer and surroundings into the image, creating an ever-shifting reality.

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