As I reflected on the theme of celebration, collage felt fitting as a medium. Collage enables an exploration of the potential of what already exists. It elevates the seemingly mundane and meaningless so that these bits of paper are, in a way, celebrated (they could have just as easily found their way to the recycling bin). How many more “insignificant” things can become vehicles for reflection in this season?
Here, Robin White’s depictions of the landscape locate the work in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Imagery of washing pulled from my Instagram feed further places celebration within my current domestic setting. Photographic elements by Vivianne Sassen emphasise expansive blue skies (anticipation of summer and Christmas are intertwined). Nick Night’s roses from his garden have fully bloomed and, at their most beautiful, are so near their end that they allude to death. Christmas, of course, anticipates Christ’s death and resurrection: we celebrate his birth because we know this conclusion also. Illustrations from a prior piece I made for Lent add emphasis.
Each element sits above, between, and within a gestural painting by our two-year-old, Nina. Explosive like fireworks, it is full of colour (plenty of red and green for good measure!). Full of freedom from inhibition, it is pure celebration.
(Image: Kareen Durbin, 2021)