What is Collage

Have you ever cut out a bunch of pictures from magazines and pasted them together to make a big picture? If you have, you have made a paper collage.

What is collage?

Paper collage, otherwise known as analog collage, is the original form of collage art. Collage art is a technique within art production that uses different types and forms of assemblage to form a composition within the artwork thereby creating a new whole from the constituent parts. The technique and term originated hundreds of years ago but made its breakthrough in the early 20th century as an art technique in itself when artists like Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso began combining bits of found printed material into their cubist paintings.

Why collage?

Collage design is an expressive and freeing form of art filled with surrealism, humour, and super-clever juxtaposition. Raw paper shreds are a clear contrast to the tidy look achieved with design software. It feels authentic because this kind of art requires Selina to work with her hands, physically making intricate cuts and arranging the cutouts just so.

Especially with paper collage, Selina is fascinated with it because she can only compose with limited materials she can find. And this constraint drives her creativity by forcing her to find unconventional ways to express ideas. This might mean combining separate images to create something completely new, or using different colours and shapes to create the illusion of depth or movement on a flat surface. 

When creating a collage, you are always questioning why you think this element works with that element, so the surface randomness becomes contextualized through the process. Whether purposefully or randomly composed, the juxtapositions can subvert traditional meanings and at the same time convey new ideas, feeling or emotion in new contexts, creating works that don't easily settle into single, fixed analyses. Hence, she describes this upcycling and reinterpretation process as “giving them a second life”.

She once said “you can have a clear idea of what you want to create but the nature of the process always leads you down a different path…just like life… the infinite possibilities that you have at your fingertips and the immediacy, spontaneity and unpredictability of the medium draws me in”.