Marina Chamberlain blogs about how a collage artist found treasure
As a collage artist, I found a treasure trove during the prolonged pandemic lockdown in Melbourne. Flea markets are my favourite source for finding treasures that I can use for creating my collage artworks, but I have been unable to visit these during our lockdown. Miraculously, the flea market came to me.
A treasure trove: books, books and more books
One day walking in my neighbourhood, I came across a trestle table with boxes of old books. No one was there. However, a notice said that we should help ourselves and take as many as we wanted for free.
There were old picture books and text books, as well as technical books with interesting graphs, diagrams and photos. There was even a book from 1856, which I eagerly grabbed.
Start of a new collage series
This was all collage gold for me, so I stocked up. I began a new series of works using these amazing papers and images. I have started posting these collages on my Instagram account @marinachamberlaincollage.
The creative challenge of collage
When working with collage, the style and subject matter is very much restricted by the resources you have. Unlike in painting, where the artist manipulates the paint to express a subject or concept, with collage, the source material manipulates the artist.
This means you need to get creative with the choices in front of you, which is what makes collage so interesting. You never know what you’re going to get. And what a great way to hone compositional and design skills while having fun layering a diverse range of papers.
Horticulture comes to the fore
Even though an artist’s style may change to accommodate new material, there is usually some distinguishing feature to identify that artist. In my case, it is the use of botanical images.
I have several horticultural resources from my past work in this field. I’m so happy I didn’t discard them when relocating to Melbourne from Auckland, New Zealand. They now get a new lease on life as part of an artwork, together with all those other beautiful old papers.
Now available online
My collages are available for sale as postcards and prints from my Etsy shop: MarinaCollageDesigns. All prints are A4 size, and postcards are standard size 10.5x15cm.
Or you can send me a direct message through my Instagram account if you have any queries.