Collage Crits!

So to mark the end of our collage workshops we spent the afternoon looking at all the work each student produced for the brief I set last week. As I had hoped, there was an excellent variety of outcomes and each person had incorporated a different technique in response to the three original images, resulting in some really strong collages from everyone involved! It was great to see how the project has influenced their own projects and practice, with a couple of students incorporating collage into their final pieces.

It was a really great experience running this workshop and I was really pleased to see so much enthusiasm from everyone who got involved, and to see how the discussions we had around contemporary collage filtered into their work.

The Brief: Create an original collage/series of collages from these three images. You can manipulate the images in any way you like and use hand cut and paste and/or digital techniques.

IMG_0607Ray Harris:

As well as creating a collage from the images provided in the brief, Ray also incorporated collage techniques into his own project, inspired by Abstract Expressionism, he deconstructed his own paintings to create interesting new compositions.

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Rebecca Bisset:

Rebecca incorporated images from google, searching for the things which first popped into her mind to create a surreal composition using the space around her images to create the feeling of floating through air.

IMG_0645Andrea Bolton:

Restricting herself to black and white photocopies, Andrea chose to obscure and distort the original images with the application of white paint, giving a sense of erosion or decay. She plans to incorporate some of these techniques and ideas with her own photographs for her next project.

IMG_0639 IMG_0640 IMG_0641Calvin Green:

Calvin used digital manipulation on photoshop to experiment with the original images. He went on to create a number of digital works incorporating images found online as well as the three for the brief. Interested in nature and the human form, he created a series of collages which had both aspects of the surreal, the real and the computer generated.

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Rebecca Cairns:

Rebecca created a cut and paste collage on paper by selecting and duplicating a few elements from the three images and placing them together to create a new composition. Focusing on the lines and contours within the images, she used the negative space of the white paper as an important element of the work.


Georgia Thornton:

Experimenting with both digital and manual techniques, Georgia created a number of works by manipulating the original materials. She experimented with digital distortion, changing the scale of the image, obscuring and pixelating elements of the image. She also cut out aspects of the three images to manually create a collage, then created another from the leftover parts of the image, repeating the process until she had used up every part of the three original images.

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Christian Robb:

Christian chose to work with the images digitally, focusing on the small area of text found in one of the original images, he manipulated this text to read as something entirely different which formed an important aspect of the work.

IMG_0634 IMG_0635

Thanks again to all the students for their attendance and enthusiasm and you have all produced some really strong, interesting and exciting collages!

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Contemporary Collage Workshops

Last week I started a series of three collage workshops with a group of students from CAP 1 looking at different techniques and processes in contemporary collage. We started by looking at how it first appeared as an artform via a brief history of the medium throughout the 20th Century starting with Cubism through Futurism, Dada, Surrealism Pop Art and then looking at a selection of contemporary artists who work in collage.

We had a good discussion around the choice of source materials, how the selection of imagery and text from different sources can have an impact on the meaning of the work, and talked about the differences between creating collage from found images, compared with using your own photographs or artworks. We talked about collage being a process of the addition and or removal of information from the original source image, and looked at works which applied various techniques to create new narratives by removing, adding or merging visual information. We also talked about the recent rise in digital media, and questioned whether digital collage is perhaps a far more appropriate medium of our time.

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This week, we looked at some different ways in which artists have presented collage in an exhibition setting. Looking at things like size and scale of a work, situations both inside the gallery as well as outside. We thought about how the different ways of displaying a work can have an entirely different impact on the viewer, and can impact the meaning of the work itself. Each student chose an artist for us to look at and discuss and we managed to look at a great variety of different styles and techniques from Paolozzi’s abstract collages of the 1950’s to contemporary conceptual work of Serrah Russell, and Hollis Brown Thornton.

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It has been great to revisit and share some of my favourite collage artists with the students as well as discover some new artists and works I haven’t seen before. I’ve really enjoyed having interesting discussions about the use of collage in contemporary art practices, from the political to the surreal to the digital age, we have brought up some great points!

For next week, I chose three images and gave everyone a copy of each. I have asked them to create a collage for next week and am really looking forward to seeing everyone’s work!


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A few snaps from the studio

Hello, I have been a bit quiet of late so here’s a few images of recent developments from the studio, all work in progress and apologies for bad phone photos!

Next week is going to be a busy week  – I will be starting a four part collage workshop with a group of students from CAP, we have interviews lined up for next year’s enrollment, I’ll be talking as part of the creative industries employability day on 9th, as well as beginning work on two new large scale collages!

More info and photos next week…

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2|1|4|1 Call for submissions for drawing exhibition:

2|1|4|1 Call for submissions for drawing exhibition:.

via 2|1|4|1 Call for submissions for drawing exhibition:.

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Edinburgh College profile current AIRetc… Lauren McLaughlin

Artist in residence profile 
Lauren McLaughlin

Lauren McLaughlin is the artist in residence at Edinburgh College. The Artist in Residency (AIR) programme welcomes emerging artists and designers who have studied at the college in the past to work in the college’s state-of-the-art studios. The AIR programme gives students the opportunity to work alongside talented artists to develop their own creative practice.

Lauren, who studied HND Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College, has exhibited at several reputable exhibitions across the UK including Valentines Mansion in London, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops, the 2|1|4|1 Members Show at SWG3 Glasgow and the 03 Gallery, Oxford. She uses a mixture of mediums to create striking pieces, including sculpture, photography, installations and is best known for her collages.
What was the best part of your course at college?
For me, the best part was the variety of projects and activities I took part in during my time at college. Through participating in group projects, working with fellow students as well as numerous educational visits to galleries and artists spaces, we learnt so much and gained so many experiences in a relatively short period of time.
How has the college supported you or set you up as an artist?
The lecturing staff on the course were definitely a major source of support and encouragement. Their dedication not only to their current students but the continued support of the alumni throughout their careers is fantastic. During my time at college we also had a lot of visiting artists and lecturers, which really gave us a great insight into a professional arts career and prepared me for life after college.
Click on the link to read the article and interview with Lauren in full:
You can also find out more about Lauren and our previous AIRetc… artists on the new “The Artists” page on the AIRetc… blog:
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Why do I Exhibit?

This morning I gave a presentation to the first and second year students about my art practice and current work. I was delighted that so many students came along to listen, and ask me questions about my work and processes. One of the questions I was asked was ‘Why do you exhibit?’ The question came as a response to something I had talked about earlier, I spoke about my degree show work; Announcement, which posed questions around the relationships between personal revelations and public disclosure, public and private settings, autobiography and advertising. One of the questions I wanted the piece to provoke was ‘who do we make work for?’ The phrase ‘I’ve had a breakthrough’ is a selfish revelation therefore why present it to an audience? It’s these kinds of dilemma’s and discourse that I wanted to promote through the work.

When asked this question today however, I struggled to answer it. Why do I exhibit? I’ve been thinking about it for the rest of the day.

The desire  to create and to make work, has always been present but what really drives my practice is the ability to make people listen. The power of the visual can far outweigh the spoken and written word; something I have been reading about recently in Seeing is believing: the politics of the visual (Rod Stoneman, 2013). For me, communicating visually is far easier than by by any other means, and I have the strong desire to be heard. As a woman and a single mother, I’ve been undermined and undervalued in many areas of my life and therefore by exhibiting my work I am able to highlight the issues which are important to me in a way that makes people pay attention.

Motherhood is highly undervalued in our society, as well as in art history/contemporary practices. Being a single mother even more so, not to mention the stereotype that comes along with it. This is my life, it affects me and therefore its what I make work about and why I want to exhibit…. the personal is political. I want my work to highlight and place value on the domestic processes and actions involved in mothering, to highlight the ever present gender gaps in both work and family life, to examine the female stereotypes we are still faced with everyday, and to force people to pay attention.

I guess it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons why we make work, and exhibit said work and so I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to remind myself why I do it.


Announcement. 2012.

Announcement. 2012.

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I took part in an exhibition at the weekend at The Galley in Carlisle with four other ex Contemporary Art Practice students, here’s a few photos!


The Galley Arts 21st-23rd March 2014

David Hutton, Caroline Gooch, Kailah Searle-Scott, Mairi Singleton, Lauren McLaughlin

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