I am asked to make a montage or collage with a political message. I will try to make three pieces. They will be about the same issue, but I will try for the message to be slighty differently communicated in the three pieces. My work could be used by someone who is against keeping pets at home. For some people an animal in a cage can be a great companion that is well looked after, for others it can seem cruel and unnecessary. I will portray the latter point of view. I do not want my work to be too preachy or serious. I would prefer for the message to be presented in a lighthearted and playful manner. I am planning on incorporating birds into all three collages as a bird stuck in a cage is a strong message in itself.
For the first collage I used a photo of a tree from my Polish guidebook.
I drew a simple bird-cage that I placed at the bottom of the tree. The cage will stand out against the dark trunk.
I placed one canary in the cage with others looking at it from up above. Hopefully the distance between the caged canary and the rest of the birds sitting freely on branches will make a viewer think. Each bird has a white outline to make it more visible against the dark branches.
The second piece will be a playful photomontage. I will use a photo of a street that I took.
The main image is a photo of a canary that I found online.
The bird’s expression suits the meaning of the photomontage well. The bird is supposed to carry a pet shop as if the canary wanted to get rid of it and dump it somewhere. The flying feathers and the bird’s expression indicate that there might have been a bit of a scuffle just before kidnapping of the pet shop. By this action the bird might be venting its frustrations, because it was caged once and does not want more animals to suffer.
The third piece is the one I enjoyed most making. After using mostly Photoshop making the previous two pieces, I decided to use magazine cutouts for this one. I went through a fashion magazine and cut out pieces of paper with different colours and patterns.
The idea for this montage is to make up a few houses and birds out of the colourful bits of paper. There will be 4 buildings in the collage with birds sitting on each of them except for one that is a pet shop. The birds will try to stay away from it in the fear of being caught and sold as pets. The message is supposed to be playful, even a little humorous. I transferred the elements into Photoshop at the end to move them around and adjust them. I added background and the banner on the pet shop.I enjoyed making this collage, it was nice to make things myself, instead of having everything done on a computer.
I am not sure how clear is the message that the tree pieces are supposed to convey, but I believe that they could be incorporated by a client into a poster with text that could help to communicate the message that they would like to convey. I am content with the fact that I managed to keep the ideas lighthearted, without getting too dramatic and grim. Making the third collage allowed me to play around with paper cutouts, it was interesting to see how many different patterns you can find on nearly every magazine page that could be used in a collage.