I was working here within two self-imposed constraints: first that I would use exactly the same materials in each of the four collages; second that I would work on the concept of linkage, connecting one part to the next in a way that would make the development of each piece more organic and internally consistent. Two relevant quotations from my mentor:
Anyway, there’s an idea that I’m trying to develop here, which is that the forms work best when you tie them together. We call it linkage. Where it’s like you’re growing a form. So you always have to connect it, you don’t just pop it out there. The forms are always like branches on a tree, they’re always tied together. And it’s one thing you can do to help your compositions, is to link one form to the next, because it gives a sense of solidity to it, a feeling of connection. The biggest problem people have with composition is unity, is keeping the composition unified. If you just start plopping things out there, here and there, thinking that you’re balancing the composition, you may be balancing it in some way, you may be offsetting one thing with another thing in a way, but you’re also building into it opposition, and you can bring this kind of competition into the composition where the forms are fighting each other, and if you start juggling things all over the place, if you’re putting one thing over here and another thing over here, you’re going to have the real possibility that you’re going to get yourself into a bind. You’re composition is going to be caught and you’re not going to know where to go because you’ve got one thing over here and another thing over here and another thing over there and another thing over here and you’re not going to be able to connect them all, you see, it’s the connection that’s important.
I’m just trying to come up with some rules. Now these are my rules. They’re not your rules, they’re my rules. You can make your own rules. But the idea of having rules is that they give you a framework, they give you a structure to hang the composition on, to build with, so that in a way what you’re doing is you’re developing a system. And that system can be returned to, you can have some confidence in it because it works. It worked once, you can do it again.