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Obituary Collages

Obituary Collage, Annabeth Tao

Prompt
Create an mixed media collage based on a New York Times Obituary

Supplies
Anything that can be used for collage

Process

1.
Choose a New York Times Obituary.

In this case, the obituary is about Lara Saint Paul.

“Lara Saint Paul, a popular singer who, inspired by Jane Fonda, kindled an aerobic fitness craze in Italy in the 1980s, died on May 8 in Casalecchio di Reno, near Bologna. She was 73.

Her death was confirmed by the Hospice Casalecchio di Reno.

Ms. Saint Paul — who was born in Eritrea, in Northern Africa, which at the time was an Italian colony — made her public debut at an Italian music festival when she was only 16 and rocketed to stardom after performing a duet there with Louis Armstrong when she was in her early 20s. She later recorded, toured and presented television specials featuring leading American and Italian entertainers.”

New York Times Obituary, Lara Saint Paul
Mind Map, Obituary Collage, Annabeth Tao

2.
Brainstorm images that visually represent the obituary by creating a mind map.

Collage & Mixed Media, Eloise Sherrid

3.
Experiment with mixed media collage to determine your materials.

4.
Create your final collage. Layer the materials so they make a cohesive composition.

Examples

Ashley Simpson
High School Student

Danny Kirwan, who had recently passed away from pneumonia, was the man I chose for my collage, more known to be from the band Fleetwood Mac. For materials I wanted to use the album cover art. Along with that I wanted to use a record as part of the theme so I used it as my base for putting the album covers on and bright solid colored paper to collage Danny on top.

I learned a lot throughout this project from researching to coming up with thumbnails and going to the final project along with the different materials. In making my final project I learned how intricate it was in making the two Danny’s, the use of solid colored paper and using it to give detail in shadows and having it outline his face, hair, and clothes. In the process I even used recycled bottles and smashed them to get the broken glass for my collage.”

Mixed Media Collage, Ashley Simpson

Yaxin Zou
High School Student

“When I was asked to find an obituary, I skimmed through the newspaper and found out about a cinematographer, Robby Müller.

Then I find out that Müller liked to use Polaroids and shot many movies with bright and strong colors, usually red and green. To do a portrait, usually the first thing that would come to your mind is the person’s face, but then I think, why not use his career itself to represent the person?

I looked through Müller’s photo collection and found out about the use of Polaroids in 1980s. I made a model of a Polaroid camera, with cardboard covered with electrical tape.   I used plastic and metal paper to make texture, and covered the part of the Polaroid with the red colored film stills from his movies.

I learned that to make a portrait does not mean someone’s face, but his distinguishing features.”

Mixed Media Obituary Collage, Yaxin Zou

Annabeth Tao
High School Student

“When I first did research about on the obituary of Lara Saint Paul, only a few websites had her information on. I concluded everything I got into several key words: ‘Italian singer,’ ‘jazz & pop,’ ‘exciting performance,’ ‘fashion dressing style,’ and ‘aerobic promoter.’

I bought a lot of luxurious materials like golden wires, fabric, beans and glitter in the secondhand store to make Lara Saint Paul look as fabulous as she was. I accidentally saw two large records lying on the table in the secondhand store, and successfully got the idea to use them as my collage base.

I learned to connect the key words and materials that I can use for the collage and freely explored the way to present the obituary in very interesting way so that the audience could notice her characteristics at the first glance.”

Obituary Collage, Annabeth Tao

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