The Abortion Debate

Response 1.4.3
                                                                                       (2.5″ x 2.5″)

I’ve had problems with the sky on each of these collages. I still can’t work out how I constructed it on the parent collage Response 1.3. For this new daughter I started at the sky, thinking that if I tackled it early on then I’d be able to piece together the parts of the collage that I felt confident with later on.

What a mistake.

This collage is a disaster; it started bad and simply got worse. Yes the compositional elements are all there but most of the pieces are the wrong shape and assembled in the wrong order in comparison to the parent. The shoe has become buried and the gaps are malformed and wrongly scaled.. The dark curl is fat, cumbersome and also buried. I knew after the first half an hour that this was something that couldn’t be rescued and was doomed to failure.

So why did I continue? Should I have aborted this daughter early on instead of turning her into the Bride of Frankenstein? I have other copies of the source material so perhaps it would have been better to throw this away as soon as I realised how badly wrong it was going. My aim is to create samples of the same species for display rather than create a freak show. Response 1.4.3  is surely a reject due to its gross deviation from the parent image?


From the start I’ve maintained that every response is a valid response. Of course there are some collages that are easier on the eye and more communicative than others, but each response shows my frame of mind and communicates my mood. Despite these daughter images being based on the same parent they are still the product of my hands and my mind. In seeing supposedly ‘similar’ collages one simply finds flaws and differences. Response 1.4.3 may be clunky and awkward, and she holds more imperfections than either of her sisters, but she is still my response to the given situation.

I feel exhausted after making each one of my collages, whether it’s an original Response from an unpublished photograph, or a daughter Response from a parent collage. Each time, I’m trying to put together a jigsaw of which I know the overall picture but don’t know the order of the pieces or what shape they should be. I’m trying to create something tangible out of pieces that shift and change depending on decisions made or lapses of concentration. This is no different from my experiences making the Self [other] series, so it’s not like I was under any illusions that the task I had set myself would be easy.

I don’t like Response 1.4.3 but it doesn’t matter. She is flawed and imperfect, just as I am.


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