Collaging at Home with Maya Hodge
[00:00:11] [Soft Music]
[00:00:27] Hi, I'm Maya.
[00:00:27] I'm a proud Lardil and Yangkaal woman,
I am a multidisciplinary artist and I am a performer as well.
[00:00:36] Before I start, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional people
on whose land I am now teaching you at home.
[00:00:43] I'm on the lands of the Woiwurrung,
[00:00:45] Wurundjeri and Boon wurrung people of the Kulin nations.
[00:00:48] And I pay my respects to
their elders, past, present and emerging.
[00:00:52] I would like to acknowledge the thousands
of years of art-making on this land.
[00:00:58] And I'm very honoured to be here
to teach you guys today.
[00:01:06] So a little bit more about my practice:
[00:01:08] I have recently been getting quite into collaging.
[00:01:13] I think it's a great thing that
is quite accessible to do at home.
[00:01:17] And I've been playing around
with it for a while now,
[00:01:21] And I think it's a really interesting way of combining
different images together to make a whole new meaning.
[00:01:28] And sometimes it can be quite political,
pretty staunch, which is why I'm so drawn to it.
[00:01:35] I'm also a painter and a violinist.
[00:01:39] And I'm a curator, as well.
[00:01:41] I grew up in the country.
[00:01:43] The only art classes I did were at school
and I didn't have a lot of access to
[00:01:51] the amazing facilities that Melbourne does,
[00:01:54] so I think that's why Collaging is a great way to
start exploring and pushing the boundaries of your
[00:02:02] artistic practice, because you can
use literally anything you want.
[00:02:07] You can make any cutouts,
any text as well.
[00:02:14] For example, the one that I have
here is pretty staunch.
[00:02:19] It leans
towards my own morals and values.
[00:02:23] And I think as young people, and as artists
as well, we we are the voices of the future.
[00:02:32] Whatever you're making at home, whatever you're
producing, you should go for it.
[00:02:39] I think that's why cutting up images and making them into something else is an extension of what you believe.
[00:02:50] And I think that's pretty clear
in the collage that I did. [Chuckles]
[00:02:55] I like to think I'm not quite as vocal per se in
my politics and in my circles,
[00:03:03] But with my art it comes out quite strongly.
[00:03:07] So I think that's why art and your expression as a young
[00:03:12] and as a person whose voice is important,
I think collaging can come into play
[00:03:19] and really support what you're trying to say.
[00:03:21] [Soft Music]
[00:03:25] So what you'll need at home;
[00:03:28] I recommend National Geographic,
they have some really amazing pictures
[00:03:34] and bits of writing as well.
[00:03:36] I encourage using text a lot in your work,
because it gives a lot of context to
[00:03:41] What you're trying to point out in your work.
[00:03:46] Those are really good to use.
[00:03:48] You can also use fashion magazines because there's so much content to use.
[00:03:54] A lot of colours and fabrics, and figures as well.
[00:03:57] I found these ones at Savers.
It can be any op shop that you have near by.
[00:04:03] It's good to recycle and use what you have instead of consuming and buying, and adding on to waste.
[00:04:10] Use up whatever you have, you can use letters and postcards,
stickers, glitter, whatever you want to do at home.
[00:04:19] I also think that using a sheet music is quite cool.
[00:04:24] I think it gives a little bit more dynamic
to what you are presenting in your work.
[00:04:31] Pencils, you can use watercolour,
you can use natural materials,
[00:04:34] I have some gum leaves here.
[00:04:36] You can use anything you want to,
which is the beauty of collage.
[00:04:39] Also what you will need is
glue-stick and scissors, most importantly.
[00:04:44] [Soft Music]
[00:04:48] I have drawn inspiration from many different collage artists.
Some people that I recommend having a look at, are
[00:04:57] Sidney Nolan, who was one of the first
Australian artists to get into collaging.
[00:05:02] So having a look at his work would be a good start.
[00:05:07] I also recommend Wangeshi Mutu who's an American artist.
[00:05:11] Her work is very deeply rooted in her black female identity.
She cuts up the images making them quite subtle,
[00:05:23] But they hold such a strong message
about womanhood and blackness and how she
[00:05:33] chooses to portray that in her work,
[00:05:37] So I really recommend her.
[00:05:40] Peter Waples Crowe is also a really amazing artist
and someone who taught me how to collage.
[00:05:45] The reason why I got into collaging was because I
attended one of his workshops at Signal
[00:05:53] And I was so inspired by the way that
he uses a lot of colours and a lot of textures
[00:05:59] And how he uses his his black identity,
as well as his queer identity.
[00:06:06] I was very inspired by how empowering his work is
and how colourful and joyful it is,
[00:06:13] because, especially in my community, celebrating our joy
and our pride is such an important thing.
[00:06:22] And that's why I attended his workshop and that's
what got me into collaging in the first place.
[00:06:29] Another amazing Aboriginal artist
who does collaging is Brook Andrew.
[00:06:34] His work is very vibrant and would be
a really great starting point to see
[00:06:41] How you can combine photomontage,
[00:06:46] Which is different to collaging, because
photo montaging is about creating a narrative
[00:06:52] instead of just being about the patterns and the colours.
[00:06:55] I think more of what I do is photomontage, however collaging is just a little bit more loosened and a bit more fun.
[00:07:06] So maybe start doing some photo montaging
after you do some collaging.
[00:07:10] [Soft Music]
[00:07:14] This collage piece is pretty staunch in its message,
[00:07:20] There is a multitude of different narratives
happening in the one collage.
[00:07:25] It's not just one overall concept.
[00:07:28] It's about all these different issues that I hold
close to my heart that are in this one piece of work.
[00:07:35] So, for example, the hand holding over the black woman with the
[00:07:41] That speaks to my love for my tutors
and the black women in my community
[00:07:47] And how we all hold each other up, and how we reach down
and help one another when times are tough.
[00:07:54] For me community is such a big and important thing,
that I wanted to honour that in this work.
[00:08:03] The older white man holding the world,
I think is pretty self-explanatory.
[00:08:09] We live in quite a white patriarchal world and I feel a
lot that my voice isn't heard as an Aboriginal woman.
[00:08:16] And I think for Aboriginal people around the world,
our voices aren't heard as much as as we would like them to.
[00:08:23] So that's what I was speaking to
in that particular section in the work.
[00:08:27] I guess my point in this is,
try pushing those boundaries,
[00:08:35] And when you're making your work, what are you wanting
to tell the rest of the world,
[00:08:42] Or The rest of your community or
maybe your family? Your friends?
[00:08:47] What are you wanting to tell them?
[00:08:49] That's what I really think about when I'm making my work.
[00:08:52] It's for a purpose, it's for a
certain message that I'm trying to send out.
[00:08:58] And start from just trying it out,
having some fun with it.
[00:09:05] The messages will come out as you're making your collage.
[00:09:11] The other work that I have here, I created in
my Signal workshop with roughly around ten other young people
[00:09:18] saying that you see guys at home, and
they were just an amazing group of people.
[00:09:23] And we all had about five minutes to cut out
some work in, five minutes to stick down, whatever.
[00:09:30] And this idea came to me mainly because
of my own standpoint as a black woman.
[00:09:38] [Soft music]
[00:09:47] So I've got my National Geographic's here and I'm just
ripping out some pages of the different colours,
[00:09:56] patterns and textures, and that's how I'm going to start
the base of my work.
[00:10:03] Instead of going in with a specific idea,
although it's great to have your theme and an ideas ready to go,
[00:10:11] but if you just flip through the pages and rip out or cut
up anything that stands out to you,
[00:10:16] that'll be my first go to.
[00:10:26] I usually tend to try and find some figures that are
interesting or stand out to me the most.
[00:10:39] This one is actually really amazing. It's a
Native American cowgirl, which I think is perfect for what
[00:10:47] my work is centred around:
Aboriginality and celebrating joy,
[00:10:55] and interesting stories in Aboriginal communities.
[00:11:03] Just going to try to get a few more
so I can start layering.
[00:11:11] A good idea is with the bold fonts, where usually the titles are,
[00:11:18] sometimes I like to put them aside just in case they
pop out to me with the rest of the images
[00:11:26] and what kind of concept I can play with.
[00:11:33] You can even try and find different paragraphs,
if it relates to your idea, as well.
[00:11:41] Otherwise, if images are what you are into,
then you don't have to use text.
[00:11:46] Oh! This is...
[00:11:50] That's my aunty, actually.
[00:11:54] That's so funny!
[00:11:57] I like to get some interesting backgrounds that I
can place people into. It changes the whole dynamic
[00:12:07] of what the image was originally used for,
which I think is really nice to play around around with.
[00:12:16] Really professional stock; magazines
like this one, which is interior design.
[00:12:24] I like to separate my figures,
[00:12:31] my backgrounds, and my text as well.
Make sure that's all nice and neat
[00:12:41] so you don't lose track.
And it's always good to clean as you go,
[00:12:45] because otherwise your mum will be
yelling at you to clean up. [Laughs]
[00:12:49] So sorry, mums, if there're lots
of paper everywhere, I apologise.
[00:12:54] But collaging. This is how we do it.
[00:12:58] It's nice to just get a clean piece of paper
ready before you start sticking down things and gluing.
[00:13:08] Have a look at what you have around you and just
start piecing together what you could possibly use.
[00:13:15] You don't have to do it for one big piece.
[00:13:16] You could save what you've ripped out
of your pages for another collage.
[00:13:23] So what I would recommend is getting a folio book,
that way you can keep your collages together.
[00:13:31] It's one rule that I need to stick, because
all my collages end up all around the place,
[00:13:37] with different people and back home in Mildura.
[00:13:40] So I get a folio. A nice big one is a good idea,
[00:13:44] but if you if you just like to keep
a small visual diary, then that's a good idea too.
[00:13:50] So you can start figuring out...
[00:13:58] What you want to work with. A nice little tip as well,
is you can rip your pages, as well.
[00:14:05] They don't have to be perfect.
[00:14:07] I actually like a lot of my work to look a little bit messy,
[00:14:11] A little bit nice and raw.
[00:14:14] Try that at home.
You can rip it, you can tear it.
[00:14:18] You can also get different scissors that have
different shapes on them, so you can try those.
[00:14:25] And just start cutting around the figures.
[00:14:30] With figures I like to be quite accurate with their shapes,
so that they stand out quite neatly in the collage.
[00:14:44] This is actually a really famous model that
I'm cutting out; an Aboriginal model, Magnolia.
[00:14:52] I think the idea that I'm going to go for here is
sort of like a waiting room,
[00:14:58] Especially during NAIDOC now, to really respect black artists and activists, and speakers.
[00:15:06] Making sure that you're respecting them and
what they're doing.
[00:15:14] Respecting the energy and the time, and the knowledge,
[00:15:21] sharing so that we can all celebrate
this week and have a great time.
[00:15:30] I'm just starting to fit pieces together.
[00:15:34] If I had a figure, I could sit them into the seats.
[00:15:37] You can put them waiting behind
the desk and stuff like that.
[00:15:49] I'm kind of going straight out the gate, mainly because
I'm drawn and inspired by what I have picked out.
[00:16:01] If you're not exactly sure what you want
to say in your collage, that's completely fine.
[00:16:06] You don't have to go quite as political
or provocative as I have been going with this collage.
[00:16:17] Before you start gluing everything, just
have a look at what's first.
[00:16:22] So this one is actually underneath this man.
[00:16:25] So I'm going to put her down first.
[00:16:34] And I like to do it on top of the background first.
[00:16:46] And I'm going quite plain as well.
If you have glitter at home, go for it!
[00:16:50] It you have stickers or anything sparkly or
shiny that you want to put on,
[00:16:58] I say go for it! [paper rips].
[00:17:02] And if that happens, that's fine! [Laughs]
[00:17:02] Because it's glue and you can just glue it
right back on.
[00:17:15] [Muffled paper sounds]
[00:17:38] I just like to do a swipe with the glue,
because you never know later if you actually want to
[00:17:42] take this out of the folio.
[00:17:46] So if you just do it lightly, it's still stuck in there,
[00:17:49] but you can also just stick it out later if
you want to glue it on to some nicer paper.
[00:17:54] So that's my collage. So it's just talking about that waiting
room and how a lot of my people aren't
[00:18:01] actually paid a lot for the time and energy
and the knowledge that they share.
[00:18:06] And, you know, always in that waiting room.
Always waiting for institutions to contact or
[00:18:15] find that time.
[00:18:16] So that's just what I made with this collage.
[00:18:21] But it could be interpreted in different ways.
[00:18:23] It just was just was
drawn to me and came out like this.
[00:18:27] So that's my college.
[00:18:29] [Soft Music]
[00:18:33] Well, this is just a really quick example of how
you can just have fun, so if you're not really sure what
[00:18:41] ideas are coming to you and what you want to say, it's
perfectly fine to just play around and see what you can make
[00:18:51] with the patterns and the colours
[00:18:53] you have at home.
[00:18:57] You can have a go at hoome and use paint.
[00:19:00] I've got some watercolours here. Just play around
and have fun. You can use the patterns.
[00:19:07] So what I'm going to do is use the
patterns in this piece that I've cut out,
[00:19:14] and mimic them in with some watercolour.
[00:19:19] If it looks a little bit crazy, that's fine, because
it's perfectly fine to experiment and explore and make
[00:19:26] mistakes, make so many mistakes.
[00:19:28] That's fine.
[00:19:29] That's what it's all about.
[00:19:31] I'm gonna stick it down.
[00:19:41] So I'm going to stick this down first before I get
painting, just because it might get a little bit messy.
[00:19:51] So I'm going to start by putting that down first.
[00:19:57] I'll start also putting down pieces
that I wanna include in this work
[00:20:07] so that the watercolour doesn't smudge.
[00:20:23] For example, you can layer the paper
over the top of other papers.
[00:20:27] You can cut out holes and have little bits peeping out.
[00:20:31] I recommend just playing around
and see what looks good to you.
[00:20:58] I got to admit, I'm always just really drawn to
what I want to say.
[00:21:05] So I think this is my
challenge: Patterns and Colours.
[00:21:10] So you might be really good at this at home.
[00:21:15] I'm just going to see what this
looks like if I bring this out.
[00:21:31] So it's attached to the image
in that order.
[00:21:38] This rainforest area reminds me
of my country, of Mornington Island and also
[00:21:48] around the Daintree area, when I went on a
beach trip out there.
[00:21:51] So I'm going to turn this into a snake.
[00:21:58] And my snake, to me is my ancestral being.
[00:22:03] So the Rainbow Serpent is my
creative spirit and my ancestors'
[00:22:09] and his name is Thuwathu.
[00:22:14] So I'm going to turn this snake
from the water into Thuwathu.
[00:22:21] I guess little things pop out as well, like feelingly,
[00:22:26] which is like in music, where you really want to
make it quite emotive.
[00:22:30] Just looking at that image reminded me of my
home and my family, and my dreaming stories.
[00:22:35] So it's amazing what can pop out to
you whilst you're doing a collage.
[00:22:41] It seems like such a simple thing, but it
can be turned into a really meaningful thing.
[00:22:48] If I had more time, I could even extend out the work
into the whole page, but I don't have time for that one.
[00:22:55] But you have plenty of time at
home to do whatever you want to do!
[00:23:00] So use the whole space! Use the whole page.
[00:23:03] I recommend trying not to leave gaps of the paper
unless you're wanting to, unless that's for an actual reason.
[00:23:11] Try to expand the whole
page and make a whole work.
[00:23:15] So that's my patterns and colours of collage.
[00:23:19] Good! [Chuckles]
[00:23:23] [Soft Music]
[00:23:26] What you can do at home:
[00:23:28] I recommend doing an exercise
that will push you with your time,
[00:23:33] So, for five minutes, cut out about three books worth
of patterns and figures and colours and
[00:23:46] Time yourself. Put it on your phone.
[00:23:47] Time yourself for five minutes, after the five minutes you
stop, and then you time yourself again for five minutes and
[00:23:54] you make a quick collage.
[00:23:55] So that gets you out of your head.
[00:23:57] Doesn't get you thinking about
'What about this one? And this one?'.
[00:24:01] Or 'that doesn't make any sense'.
[00:24:03] You only have those time restraints, so make anything
you want to make and it will come to you.
[00:24:08] And it's a good way to push yourself.
[00:24:10] [Soft Music]
[00:24:14] I hope you all enjoyed the college class,
[00:24:17] I am so happy that you were able to attend virtually.
[00:24:22] Hopefully one day you guys will be able to
come to Melbourne and attend one of my workshops.
[00:24:27] My last word of advice, for you all, especially those in
regional areas, is to keep making, keep producing at home,
[00:24:36] attend anything that you can in your area and hopefully,
your practice will continue to develop.
[00:24:44] And it's okay to take it one step at a time.
[00:24:47] Collaging is a good way to do that, and just keep
pushing yourself, growing and practicing,
[00:24:53] And good things will come your way.
[00:24:55] [Soft Music]