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  • Annette Dawm

Wall Project Update #1

This is my 20th blog! Woohoo! In just over two months I have had 27564 views (not counting this post) which is insane! Thank you so much! As much as I like to write stories and interview people, I also like to make art. I'm not saying it's good, but I like it haha!

By my front door was a big, empty wall that I got tired of looking at quite some time ago. Around the same time, I was making collage postcards with inspiring messages on them that I would hide as a random act of kindness. This was fulfilling in many ways, because in addition to making someone's day (hopefully) I was also "unhoarding" bits of paper that I had been saving for years. I got tired of this pretty soon because they were so small and it felt like even though I used 20 items (I say items because I would use more than paper. I had used stickers, fabric, anything I could glue on etc.) the pile of things never seemed to go down because the stuff I used had to fit on a 5x7 inch postcard and its envelope, which is why I started collages for the wall because they are 12x12 inches. I could also use darker subject matter on the wall because it was meant for my home, whereas a postcard could be picked up by anyone who might be easily offended. Why would you want to leave someone a disturbing note anyway?

This one was probably the best postcard and I should have kept it, but I think I hid it in the Judy Blume section of a children's library.

I struggled with not being able to see people's reactions when they opened the postcards. I only saw three people open them and I made around 20. One reaction was positive and the other people looked puzzled. For one of the postcards, I wrote a note saying that they could leave it there for someone else to find. Then I ended up finding it in the same place a week later, and it was like, "Wow, nobody wants this" which was sad.

I will never forget the positive reaction to one of my postcards though. I would sometimes hide them at the market when I went to see country singers there. One day in June last year, one of my favourite singers, Wes Mack, came to the market for free! This was super exciting because I had been waiting to see Wes since 2009. I even cancelled a dentist appointment so I could go. I brought a postcard to hide and I said to my PSW, Kayla that we should hide it in the bathroom. Wes caught me with it before we could hide it and said, "I hope I'm a step up from a bathroom." (Um, yeah!) To my surprise he wanted to keep it and I said he didn't have to but he told me he how kept everything. I remember my eyes lit up thinking I had found another hoarder. I felt bad though because it was the girliest postcard I'd made so I said I'd make a new one.

BFFs/Hoarders for life.

"I like cats." -Wes Mack

Wes also ended up with the last postcard I made. I saw him a few months later at the Western Fair during Country Music Week. I told him I brought him another postcard and he told me the other one was in his room!

"NO WAY!" After knowing that the other one had been abandoned, this totally made my day (also maybe my life haha).

Anyway, the postcards ended on a high note and soon after, I made my first wall collage. I have likely made hundreds of collages in the past, but they either get shoved somewhere or recycled so I went into this knowing they'd be on display, even if it was only on my wall. However, after many months of doing this I have been thinking about framing and hopefully selling these collages as part of an art show. The only trouble with that is many of the images are copyrighted so I don't know what to do other than make a list of as many sources as possible. This would also be difficult because some of the items are older than I am so I don't know where they came from. I know that certain things are from my nursery school days or even prior to that as well. I have also used items from public school, like old Valentines and stuff from high school like the sexual health clinic notice that I had to read over the announcements (awkward). I have things I saved in college and right up to things I cut out of last week's flyers. So this has been a life-long collecting adventure but I would like the collages to be enjoyed by other people and not just myself and the PSWs that come in every day (my cutting assistants).

A Valentine from 65 million years ago.

I don't know what the price would be yet. It depends if I even get accepted somewhere first. Then I would frame them and I would like to cover the cost of the laminating/frames and some of the unique materials that are included and were hard to find. I would also like to consider the time it took to make each collage, which at the most was likely 12 hours each, not to mention the countless hours of cutting. I have always felt that making collages was something I was meant to do, but they were also meant to be seen, so even if they were on display and not sold, that would be satisfying as well. (But I can't live off of glue and paper.) In addition to the collages, I would like to sell/display other art that I have made over the years that could use a nice home.

The gallery where I am interested in having an art show recently had an exhibit with collages. Each one had three items on it and the artist wanted around $1500. This made me feel rage and I had to leave. I think the most I would ask for a collage with a frame is $100 and I still think that is asking a lot, unless the frame was expensive. I also don't know if the gallery takes a percentage so that's another thing to consider, If I do get to have an art show, I don't think it will be until 2018.

I know in order to finish my wall I need to make 64 collages and then some postcard sized ones because the wall has narrow areas but I wouldn't part with these all at once. That might be overwhelming since I have had some of the items for so long-- as silly as that sounds. On the other hand, it is so satisfying to know I "used up" something old. To date, I have finished 18 collages and have used 416 items! When I started this project I estimated that I would use 1200-1600 items so I have a long way to go but I hope to be finished by this October so that I can say I did it in one year.

This was the first collage I did in October 2016. Unfortunately the moustache was too thick for the laminator so it had to come off, but the glue left a cool impression on the page. I also like the owl band-aid. This piece had the fewest items used on it. which was 14 (minus the moustache and counting the paper itself). I have used up to 33 items on one page, but usually they have between 20 and 25 items.

This is not the whole sheet, but this was the first collage to make it onto the wall. I also did a collage on an old calendar frame in 2015 and then my mom had a mirror put into it after I got my apartment.

Some of the collages are likely to offend people. This one says, "Provide a brief explanation of the error and attach receipts". Then underneath it says, "Sorry, I'm pregnant" with a receipt I got at a book sale. This was also the first collage to use a business card. Now thanks to friends and family, as well as going to different comic cons and home and decor shows/craft sales etc, I have probably collected over 100 business cards. The ones I don't use will be returned to their natural habitat-- a bulletin board,

These are some business cards my friend Kerri sent from British Columbia.

This is my favourite section of the wall right now. I would keep the one in the middle that says "Mr. Wonderful" for myself, but I am also partial to the one on the right of it because it has a bus transfer ticket from my birthday. Not all of them are on the wall yet because I have to make special trips to get them laminated. If you liked this update and would like to see future wall updates or an art show revolved around "The Wall Project" please let me know.

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