Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SoulCollage: The End of the World (record of process)

Mankind has, in its hands, the power to create or prevent nuclear disaster.

Terrorism, biological disaster, climate change, government surveillance.

Dire predictions by religious fringe groups. Fear of the unknown.

I tend to be a thoughtful but positive person in my day to day life. But I have taught a collage class,
at two different tech schools, called "Technology and Society" for a few years. This course is a 
critical thinking class that asks students to analyze the positive and negative effects of technology, 
since man's first use of tools, on society and the world.  So we have been looking into the news
and marveling at scientific breakthroughs in nano-tech, bio-tech and technology in general. We've
also looked at global and national issues such as global warming, terrorism, problems with disease
and food production.  I think this is where this card came from.  I don't know how many other 
SoulCollage practitioners have a Apocalypse card but now there is one in my deck.  Of course
the classes I have been teaching are not the only reason that this card appeared.

I grew up during the Cold War when the threat of global nuclear annihilation was in the back of 
every one's minds, I think. The Doomsday Clock  was first launched in 1947 by the editors of the
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It is currently (as of 2014) at 5 minutes to midnight. The first version
of the card, with the atomic mushroom and human hand holding a stopwatch, relates to my 
"end of the world" fears, both conscious and unconscious, and anxiety about when the world will end.I think that the fear of a nuclear bomb starting the last world war is less of a fear for me than it was when I was young.

The second version of the card includes the shadow of terrorism and also the threat of increasing government intrusion into our day to day lives, related to all kinds of surveillance. In addition this card refers to threats related to climate change (the ice imagery). Other areas of low grade anxiety for me are the many predictions of the coming apocalypse (the stained-glass image of death). Although I do not subscribe to religious fanaticism it is hard not to miss the dire predictions from these groups. Last on this second version of the card is the image of bacteria. Threat of bio-terrorism and the evolution of super-strains of diseases, once in control, as well as new diseases, seems to be the way "life as we know it" might end, rather than fire or disappearing ice.

The final version of this card includes the image of an meteor striking the earth. It represents, for me, the fact that world is far more unknown or uncharted than was thought in the 1950, a time when it seemed that the Utopian "modern world", where science solved all human problems and could manage and control every aspect of life, was right around the corner. At that time science was given a blank check to do its magic and create that wondrous world. I think that most now realize that science is a powerful tool but one that must be welded wisely. And that it is everyone's responsibility to continue to strive for a healthy equatable world. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I Am the One Inspired By Elizabeth St. Hillary Nelson

SoulCollage: I Am the One Inspired by Elizabeth St. Hillary Nelson
Collage using Gelli Plate, acrylic paint and deli paper plus images from
Elizabeth's promotional flier and images from her collages

I attended a Paper Painting Collage workshop with Elizabeth the first weekend of September, 2014.
It was so inspiring! As one gets older, I'm told, new experiences become connected to related experiences
from the past.  So this experience took me back to: being in painting school, working with children in
summer recreation programs, a workshop with child book illustrator Ed Young, seeing the paper
cuts of Matisse, as well as reading the wonderful books from Eric Carle when my son was young. 

So great to connect to all those experiences of with a common theme: being playfully creative while
delighting in the pure sensual and intuitive pleasure of making colorful marks. Additionally we traded
bits of paper that workshop participants had painted and worked to assemble our individual collages.
Here is my first collage from that workshop.

First Apple
collage with painted paper

I Am the One Who is Inspired by Elizabeth St. Hillary Nelson
I Am the One Who is a Whimsical Collage Artist
I Am the One Who Remembers Being a Creative Child
I Am the One Who is in Love with Color
I Am  the One Who is a Painter
I Am the One Who  Puts the Torn Pieces Back Together to Make a Better Picture