The Art of Assemblage

Greetings Planetarians,

Our thoughts this week centre on

The USA and their unfortunate circumstances. (hand on heart, I will not mention politics) Front line workers world over face a terrible situation and have shown courage and tenacity, humanity and professionalism throughout this crisis. Currently, those workers in New York seem especially burdened and need our good thoughts.




The island of Oz is doing OK and a gold star to SA on all fronts. Our front line workers are quite wonderful and a virtual hug to all the supermarket staff who face multiple requests for loo paper etc on a daily basis and who always reply with a smile and helpful information. Isolation isn’t fun but our situation is so much better than for most countries on this blue planet.


So, what to do when you want to do something different but don’t think you are artistic/craft skilled?


The mantra – everyone can sing, everyone has a voice. Well, everyone also has untapped artistic cred. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, you can’t paint, your colouring- in goes outside the lines.


Let’s try ASSEMBLAGE art

Confess: what are you going to do with all those bits and pieces, broken jewellery, odd screws, shells from the beach in the top drawer or the bowl/container near the kitchen sink? Are you ever going to toss them? Unlikely. (I dare you!) Because, you never know when they will come in handy!!! Now you can ignore the guilt – put them all together in your own piece of assemblage art.


Before you start, perhaps check this category out on-line. Familiarise yourself with the weird and the wonderful, the amazing and the sometimes macabre – the endless possibilities. Some of it is brilliant. The only limitation of assemblage art is your perseverance.


I have done a piece. It changed many times in the making. 2 rusty nails became quite a few more. I would have included even more but couldn’t find any. I discarded most of the pencil stubs and paint tubes. The backboard is the rung from an old wooden ladder and, let’s face it, I am never going to fix that ladder! So, I have co-opted it for my almost debut work. I am not overwhelmed by the resulting piece but during the making my brain skittered off somewhere else and I now have an idea for a pair of old, useless, really should have been in the bin years ago, scissors!!! I think it will work out but not in time for this column.



This year the season broke according to tradition and winter is nigh.


This week's video

La Lianne is back with porridge that will keep. Keep?


Play the Video or watch it on YouTube


The Book Worm

Bruny, by Australian author, Heather Rose


No correspondence received this week so let me recommend, Bruny, by Australian author, Heather Rose. It’s topical. It will possibly remain a good read further down the track because it is well-written but this book is clearly of the now. Heather Rose knows her current Australian politics so readers will readily identify with the issues raised – the names of some characters are barely disguised. Having said that, if you don’t like politics with your reading, this work is not necessarily a strictly political read. Romance, atmospherics, community, family are all in the mix and Ms Rose does a very satisfying job of weaving together the disparate strands. The story: the Tasmanian government is building a bridge to Bruny Island. The Chinese government has funded it.



I stood out the front of my house at dawn with a lighted candle. Beautiful flamingo and lavender clouds that morning. Only me in the street that I could see. Arising at well before dawn for the usual ANZAC service is well beyond me so COVID19 has given me an unexpected opportunity to commemorate those who served and died in war zones.

Keep safe, keep happy. We are all doing so well.


Short explanation of assemblage

What is assemblage?


Assemblage is art that is made by assembling disparate elements – often everyday objects – scavenged by the artist or bought specially.


The use of assemblage as an approach to making art goes back to Pablo Picasso’s cubist constructions, the three dimensional works he began to make from 1912. An early example is his Still Life 1914 which is made from scraps of wood and a length of tablecloth fringing, glued together and painted. Picasso continued to use assemblage intermittently throughout his career.

Further reading on assemblage.