Spilling soya milk all over the climate crisis
One of the most interesting things about doing a collage, particularly analogue collages, is how you work with what you find. In my case, I only work with found images and text, normally from magazines and newspapers. I never print specific imagery that I find online and I try to resist the urge to hunt for a specific image or text on magazines.
When making a collage the concept is never the starting point — as opposed to when I made my linocut prints where the visual follows the idea. Instead, I browse through the stack of material in the hope that something emerges from the juxtaposition of disparate images and/or words. The act of giving new meaning by stripping an image out of its original one is what gives collage-making such a unique appeal.
Sometimes, the search for fragments becomes an iterative process and the collage is never finished. It just stays there, waiting, and waiting…for the right fragment that completes the train of thought or takes it to other unexpected directions. There are moments where I have several unfinished collages sitting for days, even months. To give you an example, I first started the collage on the left almost 6 months ago. At the time, I had found a pair of conflicting images: a paradisic forest-beach and a hellish-erupting volcano. My initial idea was to combine both images with a clever wordplay about climate change and that would be it! However, it all sounded too superficial so I decided to let it rest for a while.
Luckily, this Monday I came across the last fragment that would bring it all together. While nothing particularly interesting by itself, the image of spilled soya milk with the interjection ‘Oeps’ written on it adds another layer of depth to the overall narrative. After placing this last fragment, the overall composition was not only portraying our race to global apocalypse but also two contrasting stances on climate change: On one side, we have the climate fatalists that believe that is not worth it to ‘cry over spilled milk’ as there is nothing we can do about it. On the other side, we have the climate influencers who believe that the climate crisis is as systemic as taking a simple lifestyle choice of trading your morning Oykos greek yogurt – from Danone – by an Alpro soya yogurt – also from Danone.
Don’t know which stance is less harmful…