Punk Collages

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By John Lee Bird

One small step at a time (the year of the dead)

365 days, collaging thoughts and putting the pieces back into place. Revisiting old ideas and worries, stitching it all back together and letting the ink flow forth…spilling truth and moments from every pore.

5 years previously I’d been in a monogamous relationship, or so I was led to believe…for a time, before questions arose and were answered with fists, a slammed face into cupboard doors, busted teeth and black eyes…cuts superglued back together.

Hospitals followed, some counselling and with the kindness of friends…back in the loop.

Then there was romance, 3 years, an engagement, which was suddenly called off with a text…on my own again, feeling bruised (this time not physically) – with what seemed like nothing but the sea and sky for miles.

Christmas Day 2014 I picked up a pen, glue stick and some magazines and took a step, made a collage, overmarked with ink…letting emotions flow again. To do this once a day, for an hour would pinpoint my recovery; I’d heal myself by making a piece of art each day, it’d be my process, a form of therapy, helping me get back to feeling ‘normal’ again. Making an effort to rebirth my ‘year of the dead’ into something new and alive.

The year panned out from loneliness -lost in my head, to meeting someone and dealing with fears from the past arising once more, clouding judgement, but allowing these dark parts to flow forth and onto the page, hoping, hopefully holding it together with the aid of this simple process and routine. Moving forward. Each day an image, letting it all out. Setting it free.

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