Friday, January 23, 2009

Signs from the Universe

I'm always looking for little Signs from the Universe. I realise that in saying this I am at risk of sounding a trifle Flakey or New Agey or possibly just Barking Mad.  But I'd rather you'd think of me as Aunt Clara from the sixties sit-com, 'Bewitched'. She was the Old Doddery Dame who kept on screwing up all her spells & forgetting what century she was in. 
I now realise that this is the second time almost in a row that I've referred to a TV show from my childhood. It doesn't take too many brains to work out what I did to fill in time when I was a kid. 
My parents weren't told about TV ruining children. Or maybe they chose not to listen. So I was given carte blanche to sit in front of it all day & night until bedtime. We ate all our meals in front of it, balancing plates & cutlery on little occasional tables & not talking. It was an Absolute Godsend. 
Anyway, from now on, I'm going to make a point of referencing an Ancient TV Show in every blog entry or two. That will Spice Things Up, won't it?

Back to  Signs from the Universe. You may recall that I'm going to have another Art Show in the next few months. I'm a Collagist which is not someone who gives people Collagen Injections. 
I apologise for my Lameness.
Anyway, Magazines & Old & not- so -Old Books are my Raw Materials. Over the years I've collected & then thrown away thousands & thousands of images, but I'm always Greedy for More. Aren't we all?
And with my New Abundant Frugality, I'm no longer at liberty to stroll into the local Newsagent & buy up the joint. 
So, what's an artist to do but to go through the Recycling Bins in my apartment building & see what Hidden Treasures are waiting for me to unearth. 
One night last week, I decided to Visit the Bins quite late. I opened up one , stuck my hand in & yanked out a hugely fat 1982 Italian 'Donna' magazine - all aeronautically engineered shoulder pads & spikey hair. I then began furiously burrowing down into the Bowels of the Bin where a whole Treasure Trove of Vogues, both Oldish & Newish  were nestled. I had to go & get my Old Lady's Shopping Trolley to transport them all up to my apartment on the eighth floor. 
There must have been hundreds of magazines, all in Italian. In case you're wondering, I don't speak Italian. I have never had any desire to speak another language apart from English & am greatly relieved that it has become the Universal Language. 
But Italian 'Vogue' has by far the most creative & edgy pictures of any other fashion magazine in the world. So I don't give a toss that I can't read any of the words. Just give me the pictures.
When I told Peter from my local cafe,'Zinc' about my find, he said that the only magazines in his apartment building's recycling bins were Gay Porn. Thank God I don't live there.
Hope you can see how I saw this as a Sign from the Universe, because I  couldn't be bothered walking you through why it is.
Now every time I get into the lift  or walk into my building, I take a good look at the other residents & try to work out who on earth would have been hoarding a lifetime's supply of Italian Fashion Magazines in their apartment. None of the people I've seen so far look like Likely Candidates. And none of the residents that I actually know seem likely as well. 
The only person I can think of is this tiny, doll-like reasonably famous news anchor who is a well-known Fashionista & has impossibly edgy clothes made for her by Cutting Edge Designers. But she's Chinese. But maybe she speaks Italian. After all, she does work for the Multicultural Broadcaster.

Anyway, I've been working my way through the mags . And here's a little tentative unfinished example of what I've been doing. 


janavi said...

This new collage is BEAUTIFUL!!
Italaian mags are my favorite & I believe I still have some from the 80's stashed away- I don't believe I was ever able to throw them away- hope not. But right now I am purging my Mags from this past year- wish u were closer!
Can you get old mags from the library? Janavi

La Belette Rouge said...

Really lovely work.

I do have to say that I am a bit disappointed that you don't do collagen injections and collage. That would be a dynamic duo.

p.s. I loved Endora, Samantha's mother. She was a hoot.

see you there! said...

You are putting those magazines to good use! Wonderful collage.


Sheila said...

Wow, that's just beautiful. I love the mix of textures. Those magazines are a Great Treasure!

Jane said...

What a great idea. I am working on some collages (as story boards) for my creative writing students.
A bit of "dumpster diving" this weekend then.
Love the collage!

Brian Barker said...

ive in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is unethical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

Unethical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue.

An interesting video can be seen at Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

Joyce said...

Wonderful post. Beautiful collage.
Perhaps those mags were put there by some secret admirer who knows that's your dumpster diving spot.