As we look back upon ten years of artists and exhibitions at the Halsey Institute, in the current online exhibition 10/10: Reflections on a Decade of Exhibitions, we want to take time to reflect on the process of each artist. During the first week of this virtual exhibition seven artists will be featured, all of whom showcased their work in our galleries in 2009/2010. In this post, we want to highlight the work of South Carolina artist, Aldwyth, whose exhibition Aldwyth: Work v. / Work n. — Collage and Assemblage 1991- 2009 was her first major solo exhibition. Aldwyth is a collage and assemblage artist, using her art as a response to the physical landscapes in which she surrounds herself. Identifying as an avid collector, she utilizes her knowledge of art history and a variety of sources such as libraries, bookstores, magazines, and the internet. From these sources, Aldwyth discovers new ideas from the information that she absorbs, often resulting in her producing large-scale collages full of intricacies and intentions.
Since many are still choosing to follow social distancing guidelines, we have created activities that children and adults alike can do while enjoying the virtual exhibition at home. Aldwyth’s primary medium is not an expensive one. In fact, collage is an activity that requires almost no art background. Additionally, most will find that they can already use supplies from home such as old magazines and books, or images from online. This is perhaps one of the only excusable moments that someone can cut or rip pages from a book. Of course, be sure to check with others before you go destroying a family member’s favorite book!
For this week, we decided to share two activities: one for younger audiences, and another for older. Younger participants are encouraged to create a self-portrait with collage. Imagine giving yourself special powers. Make a collage with a mix of human and animal imagery torn or cut from magazines, books, or other sources to show how you would change with your new powers. Use glue to put your assemblage together on a thick surface, such as construction paper.
For older participants, we encourage a little more depth to your assemblages. Make a collage that shows something about your spirit, beliefs, or hopes for the future using images torn or cut from your sources. If you want to extend further, use a different adhesive such as gesso or paint to layer your images on top of one another. What surprises you about your collage? What do your choices about colors, objects, and details say about you? Did you discover something new about yourself because you made this collage?
We’d love to see what everyone is creating at home. If you did either of these projects, please share with us at email@example.com. Happy creating!
By Sarah Berry, Halsey Institute education coordinator
Cover image: Aldwyth, Casablanca (colorized version) [detail], 2004-2006, 78.5 x 72.75 inches, collage on Okarawa paper with silk tissue