Our Sunburnt Country – Collage

The collage design style is one that seems to be confusing for many competitors. Of late (2021) we are seeing more that seem to depict a “picture” much like a painting rather than a floral art design – design being the operative word.

By definition, collage is an art form that results from an assemblage of different forms, creating a new whole.

In the judging criteria for this competition a collage is defined as
“…. a form of wallhanging, being interest equated and of an abstract nature, although still needing a rigid backing of modern appearance. The emphasis is on “form” using a collection of interesting objects which are glued or secured to the backing. Texture is important and areas of interest can be developed.

I enjoy the challenge of a collage, trying to depict the title with a minimum of plant material that shows a variety of textures and forms. Australian native plant material is perfect for this – it has so many forms and textures the dilemma is actually narrowing down the choice.

For this design I have used three overlapping circular backboards to provide some interest and opoortunity to have different sections of “sunburn” be shown.

The central uniting piece is a burned branch from a gum tree with some dried banksia flowers and foliage tucked in to the natural curve of the wood. On the black painted backboard, sliced banksia flowers and spent petals are glued in one section with dried moss in another for a variety of texture. The colours most associated with our sunburnt country are yellow and orange, here depicted with lentils also glued to the backboard.

The green background was to show some of the diversity even within sunburnt country areas so I have used craspedia and gumnuts with an overflow of seaweed from the brown painted background that also has sand attached to the board.

This design placed second.

Judges comments: An interesting presentation of a collage that meets the design brief. This design needed to be taller for the space allocated – this would have helped with the dominance of the burned branch. Carrying one of the plant materials through the whole design would have helped with rhythm.
Overall a good interpretation of the title with appropriate use of plant material.

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