Regular readers of this blog will know how much I enjoy collage as a medium. Something about collecting and assembling a wide array of subject matter and visual textures really fascinates me. When teaching I use collage activities in a number of ways; sometimes they can provide a springboard to other creative ideas, other times they can function as complete pieces of work in their own right.
If you're planning a teaching unit on collage, I've got another lesson plan that can easily be combined with this one.
Reverse collage requires a transparent surface that is strong enough to hold glue. For this lesson, students used clear sheets of acetate. These sheets were laid out flat on the table and a 50-50 dilution of water and PVA glue was spread over them. This acetate sheet formed the front surface of the completed work, so it was important to use clear drying PVA.
Students then hunted through a collection of sporting and fashion magazines to find the central figure for their image. These were cut from the magazines and placed face down onto the glue on top of the acetate. Additional layers of farbric, coloured card and glitter were added on top of the central figure. Finally, a background layer of text was added. These background pages were actually recycled from unwanted materials used in this project.
As each collage began with the sourcing and placement of a central figure, it would be quite possible to use this lesson as part of a larger unit on identity, portraiture or self-esteem.