Collage in the Digital Age

The term “collage” comes from the French word cooler (meaning to glue).  Traditionally, final pieces were produced using an assemblage of different forms.  Although, the technique can be traced back hundreds of years, it found popularity as a “novelty” art in the early 20th century thanks to artist such as George Braque and Pablo Picasso.




Das Undbild by Kurt Schwitters 1919

Today, the basis of the technique remains similar to its origin with regards to the assemblage of forms to create an entirely new composition.   Yet, digital collage is also very different from its predecessor in that it incorporates the use of various software to manipulate the images, undo “mistakes” and increase experimentation.

Take my Hope/Regeneration/Renewal collage project below.  The original image is a photograph of Lake Charles Dam.



Original Image

My intent was to, through the use of a triptych, reinvent the original image into a series that tells the story of technology advancing to work with instead of against natural systems.  You can compare the images and visualize the layers laid upon each other to create this enhanced world.  I utilized both Illustrator and Photoshop to produce objects such as the “biomimicry spaceships”  and the reintroduced swamps.  Following the invention of the objects, I layered ground planes and skies with clipped photographs of people and plants consistently adjusting opacities, using brush tools and light transformations.


DAM for upload


Hope/Regeneration/Renewal by Cheryl Lough

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