Field, Gorilla in the Roses: Collage Book

We began our second field option, ‘Gorilla in the Roses’, with an introduction to the module and a workshop involving book alteration and collage. In the lecture, we looked at the work of Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton, particularly their defilement of a ‘Collins Guide to Roses’ book from a public library, for which they eventually got arrested for and what the module is named after. We discussed collage and montage and the colliding of images, worlds and entities to create artwork as well as the defilement of existing materials whether through art forms such as ‘ready mades’ or public defilement, e.g. graffiti. The lecture also involved the idea of farce and we were shown clips from ‘Carry On’ and ‘The League of Gentlemen’ as examples of caricature, misunderstanding, stereotypes and farce.

In our next session, we were all given books from the library and we told to create collages from them working either in or out of the book. I decided to work within the book, using images from it and other books to create my collages and would eventually like to fill the whole book with work creating a book of collage. After initially creating random collages, we were told to try and create some with a continuous narrative in them, most of my collages are random, but a few have clear narrative working within them. I really enjoyed the beginning of this field module, collage is a medium I don’t often work with and so it was great working with the freedom of collage and working into the actual book itself.

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