Kurt Schwitters: Experimentation

As I had never done a lot of collage work before I was a little apprehensive.  I began to collect different materials, found on the streets, or items which I had myself of from friends. Materials such: as train tickets, bus tickets, newspapers and magazines.  However I also wanted to use a range of materials not associated with the brief, just to see how they work together and what would be visually effective. Materials such as tracing paper, cardboard, lined paper and masking tape.


Although the experiment doesn’t appear to be very impressive, it was definitely beneficial, because it acted as a good introduction into collage work. With a better understanding of use of materials, I was then able to refine the collage method, creating stronger examples of collage. This was strongly influenced by the work of Schwitters. I analysed his work- the shapes, colours, materials and structure, how it all works together. Below shows the stronger experimentation.

When creating the collages I reused materials, however I also collected more, items such as envelopes, stickers, documents, and brown paper. Rather than doing them straight in my sketchbook, I thought it would be more effective if I did them on different material, mainly using envelopes and found documentation, which I strengthened with card or cardboard.  This is because I intend to attach each individual collage and create a form of book so that a viewer can easily flick through them and see the flow between each collage, which clearly link much better with the work of Schwitters. The shapes vary but there tends to be a lot of squares and rectangles. The colours vary, but there is a strong use of browns, oranges and reds. Also, what I did differently with the previous collage was, I used PVA glue to stick all the items and materials.  This worked better with a mixed use of materials because it allowed the colours to blend and gave a gloss finish which will look better if I make a collage book.

With Schwitters work, layering appears to be very important, and certainly was when experimenting.  The layering of materials gave a much more impressive visual and showed the complexity of materials and how they can be reused.  As an extension to the experimentation, I decided to overlay my first basic collage on top of 6 of my better collages to create a textured combination of layering. I thought this looked quite interesting and was worth experimenting. This is shown below.

Kurt Schwitters Combination