Open-Ended Communication

Open Ended Communication, collage, by Karen Koch“Open-Ended Communication” is a transitional piece that creates a pathway from the envelope-specific pieces (In The Clear, Going Forth) early in this series to more conceptual pieces (Once Upon A Time, Lifelong Buddies).

The focal point in this piece is the small central envelope, which was originally created to stand on its own.

The brown paper wrapper and translucent overlay are reminiscent of envelopes, but not exactly so. The overlay is loose – intentionally – so that the contents are slightly obscured.

The upper edge has been left open, leading to the title.

That small envelope was exhibited in the National Collage Society’s 2017 Postcard Show held earlier this year in California.

When it came back to me after the show, I thought about popping it in a frame and putting it up on the wall. But that didn’t feel right. The envelope needed more context, more substance, more than a plain mat. I propped it up in my studio and looked at it for quite a long time.

One day, as I was shuffling papers on my worktable, the postcard slid across a painted piece of paper and – oh! – now it made sense. I stitched the postcard to that painted paper, then attached them to a canvas covered in more paper. So far, I really like it. But you never know; it may yet need to become the nucleus of something even grander.

Photos of the original postcard by itself and some details of the stitching are below.

Title: Open-Ended Communication
Medium: Collage with book pages, painted papers, stamps, Mylar
Size: 14 x 11 inches on gallery-wrapped canvas
Signed: on the back
Exhibits:Delivering Stories” at the BOX Gallery, Akron


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