We love it when people set themselves a slightly crazy challenge. Manchester design and illustration studio DR:ME has done just that with 365 Days of Collage. The team will be making a daily collage for an entire year, which is no mean feat when you consider the painstaking work that goes into crafting a collage by hand. Each collage will be up for sale on the website for five days after it’s made, for the very wallet-friendly price of £10. We can’t think of many places you can get an original artwork for less.
So what prompted this Herculean feat of art-making? DR:ME’s Ryan Doyle and Mark Edwards paid a visit to the home of collage artist Paolo Giardi in Battersea, South London, last month and were blown away by his prolific output: “the walls were covered from floor to ceiling with his work, which was just amazing,” says Edwards. The pair was inspired to delve into its own huge collection of visual source material and turn it into a project that would occupy them long-term. The DR:ME studio plan chests were heaving with print ephemera, magazines and cuttings, which will now go into forming 365 collage artworks. Much of it has been collected over the years from Paramount Bookshop in Manchester, or during trips to the States. “Paramount Books is run by a lovely guy who listens to Edith Piaf, Phillip Glass and Vivaldi all day on an old vinyl record player that crackles,” says Edwards. “We’ve got a lot of great old books and postcards from there. And when we worked for the illustrator Mike Perry in New York we visited a lot of thrift stores and picked up old copies of Life magazine”.
We've no doubt all this material will keep DR:ME going through hours, days and months of collaging, but what if cut-and-paste-fatigue sets in? "We're actually really excited to see what happens when/if we do ‘hit the wall’," says Edwards. "That’s when we’ll really have to push our creativity and make things that we may never have dreamt of making had we not started this project. Probably collage a wall."
Any collages that don’t sell in the five-day window will become an exhibition at the end of the year. Meanwhile, keep an eye on DR:ME’s special 365 Days of Collage website to snap up the latest works, hot off the cutting table.