Mixed Messages – the versatility of collage || Ann Manie

Collage has always been a hard sell in the amateur art market and I’m tempted to say that this contribution isn’t going to make it any easier. That’s a bit unfair and we’ll come to why later.

The problem collage has is its primary school associations. It’s hard enough to get leisure-time artists to consider coloured pencils; and show them any sort of oil-based crayon and they similarly run screaming for the hills. There have, though, been some successes with mixed media (meaning more than just watercolour with a subtle hint of pastel) in recent years, notably the popularity of Mike Bernard’s book. All of this means that it may be possible, eventually, to show that collage is capable of excellent and striking results.

I don’t think, as I hinted before, that this is going to be the breakthrough book though, because most of the work illustrated is probably a little too avant garde for the domestic reader unless they have a predisposed interest. However, if you’re adventurous, you’ll welcome this. Ann Manie provides a good survey of what’s going on at the present time, illustrating works by many contemporary practitioners from around the world. She also examines practicalities and working methods and provides a historical introduction to the medium.

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