The following is just my inner experience: would like to hear from you how you deal with layers in assemblage / collage art.

Working in layers

The essence of working with found objects (or scrap material) is that their different nature will impose different layers upon the composition. This effect is based upon the different origin, structure and function of the elements: wood, metal, glass, stone, plastic, etc. As a consequence, each bears a different weight and ease for penetrance (transparency), that will influence the composition. Each element also has a different affinity to secondary layers such as paint.

On top of this, steered by the artist, the position of the elements will profoundly affect the nature and complexity of the artwork composed.

Thus, for one art-work, I will start by choosing a firm underground like a multiplex wooden panel, and build upon this smaller or larger elements fixed with glue or screw. Next, it is time to add other elements, elevated upon a tiny screw or nail as supportive tiny structures, that brings these elements to float above the underground. Wires attached to nails, may connect the former pieces, and at the same time, are to a large extent independent and flying for much of their length.

In a next artwork, thinner wooden sticks will be connected and used as support for complex bodies (wood, metal) that may get cover of a wired mesh. At juxtaposition – at the same level or above -, pieces of glass may be placed. The latter, if put under (sun)light, will present yet another dimension by reflection of parts in their environment. As such, this environment adds to the multi-facetted dimensions in the complete composition.

In some works, solid structures imaging buildings, may carry stakes that stick outward, or – in reverse – inwards. This will create emotional layers, not structural ones.

Doubt about one-self, about the outside world, may lead to introduction – often late in the assembly – of tiny details that question the impression arising at first glance. In the end, it is the eyes of the spectator, with his / her experience of life, that lead to the ultimate image and understanding.

One and the same art-work, can lead to completely different seeings and immotions, between spectators and between artist and spectator.

cc. drager meurtant, January 2014. (Pic is the Paleidokopus)

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I like "sunlight, will present yet another dimension by reflection of parts in their environment" This added element of sunlight --- something ephemeral, fleeting, in flux and returning to the piece. Something Tilman Riemenschneider considered in his sculptures to great affect.

In the attach, I have one of my palimpsest, which I invite any one to use as a collage base.

Until . . .
Elizabeth Beckmann


A bit late: my thoughts at times run with the speed of an ant, but non-directional.

Thanks for your input. And your artblop is wondersome: advise everybody to take a look at it.

a reminder:

I like to sometimes begin a piece in layers, either cloth, paper or possibly other material and let it "talk" to me prior to going further. I like the looseness of working in layers. Like painting...a beginning of texture or layers of material can evoke a direction or possible selection of other items to continue the piece.

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