Expectations vs. Reality, No. 4 & 5

I’ve been working on a series of collages based on the theme of “Expectations vs. Reality”. The emergent images reflect the reality that life always turns out a lot messier (and more interesting) than we planned.

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 4// Mixed media painting with collage and hand stitching, c. Julie Coombes May 2016

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 5 // Mixed media collage, c. Julie Coombes May 2016

 

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Remnants

I’m fascinated by little remnants of things and leftover scraps: bits and pieces that would normally be overlooked or tossed away without a second thought. Everything–and everyone–has potential, possibility, and beauty…if we just know where to look.

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Remnants No. 1 // Mixed media on altered book pages by Julie Coombes, May 2016

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 3

This one happened by accident. I started cleaning up my art space (it looked more like a rubbish tip than a workspace!), and all these bits and pieces started calling to me.

From the expectation of cleaning, instead a new creation was born. Mixed media collage on paper (found and painted papers, burlap, threads, acrylic).

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 3 // Mixed media collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2016

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Say something NICE.

I have recently become completely a little bit obsessed with Missy, the Doctor’s utterly mad and villainous-yet-charming nemesis from seasons Eight and Nine of Doctor Who. Played by British actor Michelle Gomez, Missy takes many of the worst “feminine” tropes in television and completely subverts them.

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“Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Her infamous catchphrase–which she uses right before she kills someone–is, “Say something nice”.  The phrase completely undermines the misogynist directives so many women hear throughout our lives: we are told to smile, to be nice, and that to do these things is our obligation as females. Missy owns all of that and turns it into a terrifying weapon (thanks both to Michelle’s performance and Stephen Moffat’s writing).

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Millinery and beading detail, “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Like Kali and Athena, Missy is a warrior-goddess and a total badass. I made this mixed-media fabric collage in her honor. The details and embellishments evoke the various elements of her costume (including the cameo, which is an exact replica of the on-screen original).

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Antique buttons and gel-transfer cameo detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2106

The pair of vintage silver buttons in the lower right corner remind me of her selfie-phone-of-death.

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Embellishment detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed=media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2016

This piece is also dedicated to Michelle Gomez; she is a total badass in her own right. Her agent calls her “The Cockroach” because no matter how many times she gets squashed (British media is not much better than Hollywood towards women over 30), she keeps coming back. Any woman who at the age of 50 can portray an instantly internationally-beloved character with her own action figure is a hero in my eyes.

Go team cockroach!

 

 

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 1

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 1 // Mixed media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2016

Tattered dreams…faded memories…pieced together to reveal patterns of a life well-worn.

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