Portfolio: Collage

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The purest essence of the energy of the heaven-earth world coalesces into rock. Within the size of a fist can be assembled the beauty of a thousand cliffs. The humane man loves mountains, and the love of stones has the same meaning. Thus longevity through quietude is achieved through this love.  Confucius

There is a wonderful opportunity in collage to combine otherwise unrelated elements and create  new and unexpected connections. Through a careful selection of natural found objects, combined with handmade papers and mixed media, the surprising is born.

In the simple complexity of the resulting cohesive image our associations come alive as we are taken into a world that appears familiar or recognizable. The fragments from our physical world and the found natural treasures are the tangible stuff which together in this context present new possibilities of involvement. Beyond the experience of a specific space/time one is brought to other places, fantasies and experiences due to the juxtaposition of disparate found objects, ephemera, photographs and illustrations.

"...Kunstadt interrogates the nature of time and change, calling into question the nature of her own enterprise as an artist who recycles the products of nature into personal expressions of our common experience. Yet she does not undertake the transformation of natural objects lightly, but as a ritual of devotion and celebration."    Ed McCormack, Familiar Objects Acquire New Meanings in the Collages of Carole P. Kunstadt, Gallery & Studio, February/March 2008

Interlude Series (Images 11 - 16)

Hand written music manuscripts from the nineteenth century, drawn with oak gall ink on handmade paper are cut and recombined. Responding to the existing marks and their graphic patterns while intuitively recombining them allows for a new text to form. The deliberate notations and staves are divorced from their intended musical equivalent and when re-assembled present a cacophony of lines, notes and marks. Threads are repetitively knotted into the woven surface of fragmented musical notations and lyrics creating a densely textured surface.

Through the exploration and manipulation of the materials - resulting in alternative rhythmic patterning, the process reveals how the musical notations can become visual through re-interpretation.


OVUM/Breakthrough (Images 17 - 26)

I have cut and recombined 19th C. naturalist bookplate illustrations of bird eggs. Adding silk thread as a linear and textural element contributes to the resulting abstracted patterning, referencing not only quilt making but also needlework samplers. Eggs are a metaphor for gestation, abundance, promise, rebirth and hope as well as symbolic of vulnerability and perseverance.

Anciently motherhood was represented by a sphere or circle. The circle, like the mundane egg, which is but an elongated circle, contains everything in itself and is the true microcosm. It is eternity, it is feminine, the creative force, representing spirit.
Matilda Joslyn Gage, Woman, Church and State, 1893

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