I’ve formatted my first piece and am waiting for the YES glue to dry on the various smaller configurations before gluing the whole thing in place. I use YES because it doesn’t wrinkle the paper, isn’t toxic and doesn’t dry up and let go after a while (like glue sticks). Also I can use a damp cloth to get rid of residue without harming or staining most papers. I spread it on with my fingers, which is a pain because I have to keep rinsing them off. If anyone has a better suggestion I would love to hear it!
It’s been interesting working with Red Riding Hood. The first prompt suggests making an overall image of the story. I chose images of the girl, the hood, the picnic basket, the grandmother, the wolf, the huntsman, the bed, the forest, the path and the cottage. As always, the most interesting lesson collage teaches me is to let go of what doesn’t serve. I’m sure to elaborate on that idea in future posts! For now, I’ll just tell you the thing that took the longest time was forcing myself to discard my favorite wolf. He just wouldn’t come into alignment with the other elements. I tried changing the background from forest to garden. That worked really well. The garden, painted in the impressionist style, holds a suggestion of a house in the background. I wanted the cottage (Red Riding Hood’s goal) there because it represents stability and safety. For many, life’s journey (the path) is to find safety and security. In this case I chose a ‘garden path” as a visual pun hinting at deception and trickery.
Sticking to the original text, my Red Riding Hood shows a bit of attitude, while grandmother seems sad, apathetic and resigned. The Huntsman is just a sliver of red in the far left corner at the rear of the wolf he’s stalking. He appears late in the story and has no particular characteristics ascribed to him, yet his presence is vital – hence the color red. To me he represents the wolf’s shadow; displaying all the characteristics – integrity, protection, kindness, which the wolf lacks.
I placed the bed prominently because of the implied sexuality in the story. Look at all the songs, bawdy jokes and ribald tales, which have become take-offs on the tale over the years. Red Riding hood is a young girl, a virgin. The huntsman and the wolf are both drawn to her. Wolves are metaphors for predatory males as are huntsmen. Granny who should act as adequate chaperone is sick and enfeebled. Mother’s advice been disregarded and Red is on her own. But the underlying story isn’t spelled out; it’s implied in the imagery – the bed is an acknowledgement that we get it.
The tree represents the wild forest Red Riding Hood has navigated to get to the cottage garden. It holds a clutch of red seeds inside a narrow cleft in the bark, another reference to Red’s fertility and appeal. It hints at a future child, but whose – the huntsman’s or the wolf’s?
Speaking of the wolf, he’s very different from the calm beautiful creature I first chose- this one is stalking his prey, jaws open to devour. He dominates the idyllic garden with his dark presence, though his mottled fur and stealthy stance allow him to fade into the background and seem to disappear.
That’s my story and I’m sticking it together as soon as I say good-bye! Bye for now.