Expressionist Approach to Collage with Junk Mail and Plastic Bags

The aim of this technique is to re-purpose the kind of paper and plastic which come to me without me having to go looking for it at all. It’s really just a matter of collecting up this stuff. Preparation involves cutting up the plastic into a variety of shapes and sizes, and tearing up the paper material. Then, as i go, I cut up some useful shapes for facial features as I see fit. This technique is very easy on the hands, and incredibly cost effective, so I expect to be doing more of these in the colder months.
I glue it all down with mod podge glue, and once dry I paint over them with acrylic gel medium.

Collage face expressionist 1 001

Collaged Face #1

Collage with newsprint, coupons and plastic bags on 600gsm paper.

210/297mm

Collage face expressionist 2 001

Collaged Face #2

Collage with plastic bags on 600gsm paper.

210/297mm

Collage with Recycled Materials

The new style that I’m embarking on is based around the idea of wanting to repurpose plastic packaging, as well as junk mail and supermarket receipts, which always seem to have coupons printed on the reverse side.

For the plastic bags, I chop up all of the printed parts, place them in between two sheets of waxed paper positioned on an ironing board. Then I put the iron on a low setting and fuse all of these chopped up bits of plastic together into a sheet, from which I can then cut strips of varying widths. The junk mail, coupons, and coloured paper are also cut into strips of varying widths so that I can then arrange them in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.

I wanted the works to evoke thoughts on our consumerist society, so decided to use photocopied images of models from fashion magazines. I love the way that photocopy toner makes the images so much more graphic.

Model Society 1

The Model #1

Mixed Media with fused plastic, coupons, junk mail,

photocopy, and coloured paper, on paper

 

Model Society 2

The Model #2

Mixed Media with fused plastic, coupons, junk mail,

photocopy, and coloured paper, on paper

Recycled Art with Junk Mail and Fused Plastic

After using my paper trimmer to chop up some junk mail into different widths of vertical strips, I took some pieces of paper which I had painted on with water and indian ink and put them into my newly acquired paper shredder. I then collaged the strips side-by-side onto 620gsm paper. The previous day I had been fusing together pieces of plastic bags. Today I cut a primitive/naive looking hand from one of those fused plastic collages. I then cut out two sides of of a white translucent shopping bag and fused the hand shape in between to two sheets of white ( kind of “trapping’ it in the plastic).

I then glued the plastic onto the collaged paper strips, which created an interesting visual effect, while also serving to protect the surface.

It all sits inside a recycled frame which I did a white on black DIY crackle effect on.

Plastic hand 1

 

Recycled Art Using Plastic Bags

I’ve been using my paper trimmer for slicing up junk-mail and supermarket receipts with coupons printed on the back, gluing these onto paper, but not knowing quite what to do with them. Over the last week I’ve been thinking about different ways that plastic supermarket bags could be used for art. I bought a kind of sharpie that is for writing on plastic, and today while trying it out, got the idea to then stick it over the paper collages. I think the result has a lot of potential to become affordable decorative art:

Black circles on coupons 1

Junk mail and plastic 1

display shot of 2 plastiques

Collaged Self-Portrait with Junk Mail

Last week I invested in a twenty dollar A4 paper trimmer, in order to be able to cut up and collage without having to strain my hands each time I hold down the paper, or card, and slice along a straight edge with my scalpel.

I have always wanted to find a way of using junk mail in collage, rather than just throw it out. I have a “No Junk Mail” sign on my mailbox these days, but still get the odd circular from time to time.

Collaged self portrait

So, as you can see, I have used the paper trimmer on the recent self-portrait I did, and one of those department store style leaflets with the “model family” posing. Both are poses, or facades of a kind which contribute to the fragmented sense of self consumerism nurtures and depends upon.

This isn’t a finished work, but just one of the many collages I intend to do, which will provide source material that I can cut up, tear, and paint, so that it can contribute to a larger assembled piece in the future.