Monday, March 15, 2010

We Begin

Welcome to the War and Peace Project. This is a collaborative project that is already evolving even though it was just started in late 2009. This project was inspired by many things. I am an artist and have been working in collage on and off for many years now. I have been focusing on collage-making more over the last several years. One of our collaborators, Lucy Arrington, told me about a blog called "One Drawing for Every Page of Moby Dick". That artist makes a collage a day, inspired by a page from the book. He uses found paper but does not use the actual book (as far as I know). I also recently saw a gallery show in East Boston at the Atlantic Works Gallery by Michael St.Germain. He showed 10,000 tiny drawings. It was a great show and I loved the way the gallery looked, completely covered by his drawings which were displayed in old slide sleeves.

Why War and Peace? I have a feeling that we will be writing a lot about this question. I was a Russian studies major in college. I was drawn to learn Russian in part because I love the script. It took some week to learn how to read and write the letters. I loved the complexity of the grammar. All of my collage work involves script in various languages. I also liked the size of War and Peace. The edition we are using is in Russian and is in excess of 800 physical pages.

The idea is to use a page of the book for each and every collage. The collages measure 7 by 5 inches and are on vellum paper. I started the project on my own, completing the first 6 collages. But I felt that somehow a project of this scale would be much more fun to do collectively. So I opened it up joined forces with other good friends.

So now we are working as a group. So far the team consists of Lucy "Lulu" Zahner, Lynn Waskelis and Lucy Arrington. My husband Mark Natale will be our photographer.

We have completed 25 collages so far. Our intention is to complete the 800 collages, and to one day show this as a body of work. We meet on Fridays at my studio in East Boston. Images will be posted as we complete more work each week. The others will also be writing as we go along. Welcome to our atelier. We are happy to be on this creative journey together. -- Laura "Lola" Baltzell

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