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✂️ Life collage

14 october 2023

Two weeks before leaving on this little Spain journey, my mom forwarded a Marktplaats ad for a beautiful wooden floor, its owner wanted to get rid of it asap. I had been thinking and talking about being ready for a real floor. Until then I had been living on painted underlayment, which worked fine and looked pretty nice, except for all the tiny scratches that Jennifer had made in the paint with her nails while running around. But it fit well with all the other stuff in my place that was either found or gifted from family or already in the house when I got it, maybe spruced up by painting it in a fun color. My attitude was always:

I'll just work with what I have and make the most of it. Something feels safe about this attitude: I didn't actively choose the things that surround me –oftentimes even the garments on my body are hand-me-downs– they just sort of 'happened' to me and therefore I feel less responsibility over the choice, and people cannot judge me for it (or it will hurt less when they do). I think deep down I am sometimes still afraid to have and show my own taste, because someone else might not like it.. Could this stem from having a parent that is very particular and expressive about their own taste? Maybe. But I'm ready to get over it now!!!

Now I am ready for an upgrade. I guess my house, and also other parts of life, have felt like a collage of randomly found images and scraps, made into a nice composition (that I often, very often, change around). And I love collageing, it's basically what I do in my art practice as well, it's very much working with what you have and making the most of it. But I am so curious to find out what happens when I start being more intentional about the images that I use in these collages, and where I search for them, and how I cut them out, and what glue I use, and maybe even draw some of these images myself? Yes, that is a metaphorical summary of my life mission these days:) Taking more responsibility over what life looks like.


Step 1 was to lay this floor. It felt like... priming the canvas. Or maybe like choosing the background color? It definitely sets the tone for what will come on top. I started seeing the floor as the foundation of this New Life Chapter I feel is starting. Symbolically, but also literally, because I will probably spend a lot of hours of my life on this floor!

*But nobody will see the secret artwork under the bed
Floor-laying was a heavy task that I had never done before, heavy both for the body and the brain (cause of all the corners and the math, lol). I spent about 3 full days puzzling and sawing, and did not expect to be able to fill my entire apartment, but I did, kind of. I couldn't help myself and instead of buying some additional planks, I worked with what I had, again, and made the most of it*

Step 2 was to make space for new imagery, AKA get rid of everything I did not want or need in this house/life. I rediscovered Marktplaats, especially for giving things away; the feeling of handing someone a bouquet of peacock feathers that you had tucked away in a closet somewhere, and see them all happy and excited about it = so lovely, I recommend it.

Step 2b is to clean up digital life, let go of the bits and bites I do not need. Go through all the drives, online cloud storage and physical hard drives, old project files and footage, mailboxes and note taking apps, maybe even photos at some point? Ambitious, I know, but listen, after installing a floor by myself there is simply nothing I cannot do. This step is currently in progress. Going through digital archives is already giving me lots of logging material, but I will saw those logs later.

I am not sure what Step 3 is yet; is it deciding what I want this collage to be, or is it gathering new imagery first? Maybe it is thinking about both these things. Which I am doing right now. Ok, I know what it is now:

Step 3 is taking some distance from the canvas, and letting inspiration strike:) Maybe cut some things out already, if they feel nice?

clippings of spain life

Step 4...

back to the zone