Collage is the process of assembling disparate pieces from various sources and combining them together into a new, integrated whole. If we observe the stages of collaging in a symbolic manner, we might see how it reflects a journey of self-exploration and self-acceptance.
Collecting: The first stage of the collage process is collecting magazines, books and other source material. Collecting is an act of yearning. The type of source material we collect often reveals what we’re wanting and desiring in life, and it reflects our idealized image of self.
Searching: Next, we search for images within our source material. We’re searching for images that make us feel a strong emotion, whether joy or fear. We’re searching for an “aha” moment or resonance that makes our soul sing. This is an act of seeking the undiscovered parts of our lives.
Disorganizing: After searching, we may develop a pile of papers and images before we arrange them in a layout. This is often what we experience when our lives feel disordered and cluttered with too many options. This disorganization stage is an act of chaos. It helps us learn to adapt to chaos in a calm and creative way.
Choosing: Next, we narrow down to a few images. Choosing the images we wish to use from the disorganized pile is an act of empowerment. This stage helps us to look at everything at once and use our sorting and discernment abilities to make choices and decisions.
Cutting: We may need to crop part of a picture away from the rest of the picture. Which part should be kept? Which part should be discarded? Cutting away part of an image from a larger whole is an act of freedom. It can symbolize cutting away the collective mindset in favor of an individual perspective.
Reorganizing: Reorganizing is arranging the chosen images into a layout. It is an act of creating order out of chaos. Symbolically, we are integrating isolated fragments of ourselves. We are consciously assembling our lives, choosing the pieces that fit together in a meaningful way.
Adhering: Once the layout has been determined, we adhere the images to a surface. This is an act of permanence. It is also a symbolic commitment to a state of being. It’s like declaring, “This is who I am at this moment, and I accept it.”
Collage as a Creative Coaching Tool by Andrea Watts
SoulCollage® Evolving by Seena B. Frost
Putting the Pieces Together: Collage as a Mode in the Treatment of Trauma by Anila Babla https://collageresearchnetwork.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/putting-the-pieces-together-collage-as-a-mode-in-the-treatment-of-trauma/