Collage is one of the creative processes of art making for an artistic self-expression, to develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and achieve an insight. While talking of Art, what an artist reflects in his artwork, are his own thoughts, ideas and emotions as a reaction to his surroundings, any particular event or his clear or ambiguous thought process. The person can enter into the world of his own imagery and form a personal vision. Collage is a technique of comprising a work of art by pasting various materials, which may or may not be related with one another, as newspaper clippings, photographs- full, torn or just a part, theater tickets, railway tickets, paints, ribbons, handmade paper and even an envelope, a letter or pages of a book. Collage became a distinctive section of Modern art in the early twentieth century when George Braque coined the term as ‘Papier Colle’. It was Braque who used pieces of oak-grain wallpaper with his charcoal drawings. Picasso took it to another level where he stuck oil cloth with a chair cane over his canvas. Kurt Schwitters explored wood collages and Richard Hamilt turned to Photomontage. Assemblage is a sculptural technique of organizing or composing into a unified whole a group of unrelated and often fragmentary or discarded objects.
Shanker Art Foundation had organized an online Collage competition for children during the lockdown period. Almost 160 children, ranging from 4 to 15 years of age, participated in the event. The progressive motto of Shanker Art Foundation, Gurugram has always been of fostering a robust cultural art landscape by promoting new and vintage talents, and partnering with art fraternity since 2012. It’s a delight to look at the creative works of the children who have participated in the Collage making competition. It is an insight into the innocent mind through which a child sees the world. Some have depicted positivity with nature full of trees, birds, butterflies and flowers; some have seen the suffering world in pandemic; some have made huge buildings, landscapes, still life, religious themes, helicopter and some have shown love of the family. One can come across the use of torn, colourful papers, newspapers, thermocol balls, cotton and even the cuttings of musical notes. The exposure to the world has definitely not left the little brains untouched. The imagination can be seen innovatively running into all directions and creating wonders.
In Group-A, a few works which catch the eye are Neya’s garden is full of paper cut animals and mushrooms; apple and pear by Erina Abimani; Winged earth by Arhant Amol Desai; adorned mermaid by Hazel; and a very bold work on social workers and lockdown by Om Bhatt and blooming nature by Shairaa Patney. Group-B enfolds the topics like happy girls by Anasuya Kaushik and Aradhya Chaurasia , eye donation by Utkrishta Manuja; sectionized nature by Pola Straczek from Poland; impressive work by Bhavini with nature and people cut out of newspaper; Ram Banvaas by Ayaana Singh; Still Life by Kiana Gujral; and jungle view by Sara Passi. In Group-C works worth mentioning are a beautiful lady in the garden by Zofia Chekan from Poland; birds, flowers and jackal by Lakshita; intricate mythological display by Leonardo K Marx; enriched heritage of India by Vivaan Gupta; Group-D unfolds the collages like hexagonal cuttings engulfing the bees by Elena Olczac; a dreaming girl by Neelanjana Maggo; and Corona warriors by Unnati Mann; In Group-E, Go green by Naga Varshini; cityscape in the times of Covid-19 by Shivam Yadav engulfs the viewer with their vision.
Dr. Alka Chadha Harpalani, Bangalore