I’ve always enjoyed working with mixed media, and most of my pieces tend to include some type of non-traditional material, such as book pages or sheet music. Recently, I’ve become obsessed with collages. Although I’ve always been drawn to them in some small way, this new obsession is all thanks to an artist named Maya Land. Land is a London based artist who creates amazing surrealistic collages. Through her pieces, she often explores social and political issues that are prevalent in today’s society.
I love how Land is able to connect the Human Experience to Nature. The people of today’s world are often so focused on their careers and life goals, using social media as an outlet and watching television to wind down, that we forget how important it is to stay connected to nature. That is not to say that being goal-oriented or spending a lot of time on Tik Tok is a bad thing; I would be a hypocrite to suggest that. What is important is finding a balance of both, which I think Land touches on in her work. This is best exemplified in the third piece I’ve shown above. Land utilizes an image of a beautiful room, complete with an ornate fireplace and wall decor. The room is expertly build, conveying to the viewers that this room carries great importance. Instead of the floor, Land includes an ocean shoreline with a sail boat coming in. This half of the piece creates a sense of calm. Imagine yourself on a sunny afternoon, lounging on a boat and laughing with your friends as the wind rushes past your face and water sprays up at you from the sides. Humans crave this. The innate desire to enjoy the world around us has not ceased, we have just started to enjoy the world in brand new ways. The juxtaposition of a man-made room with the natural land forms of an ocean shore informs viewers that nature and technology can go hand-in-hand. It is a reminder to pursue your goals and enjoy yourself while you do.
The act of creating a collage itself is fascinating. The meticulous cutting of images to fit together certainly takes an abundance of patience and will, but I truly think the outcome is well worth it. The act of choosing your materials, too, seems extremely important. In searching though images and old magazines, a collage artist will find pictures that resonate with them. Whether or not they had a specific outcome for their piece in mind, the process of finding the images to include will encourage the artist to connect with certain images to create a piece that feels like an extension of themselves. Michelangelo believed that the image of a sculpture lived within the marble he used, and he would go pick out a block of marble himself in order to find one he felt drawn to. I believe the same is applied here. Creating collages is a completely different experience from drawing or painting. With paint, I can make symbols that are important to me and allude to a deeper meaning, but with collages, the materials themselves have importance. The piece, then, feels alive.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”Michelangelo
My new goal for this semester is to explore collages as much as possible. Luckily, Instagram knows me so well that I find a new mixed media collage artist almost daily now! Be sure to check out Land’s work, both on her website and Instagram. And take this post as a a reminder to enjoy all things in life. Take pictures of sunsets and laugh at Tik Toks. Find things that you connect with and find people that make you feel like yourself. Set your own angel free.