Collage: the science behind the art
The science behind the art
Power of images for communication
- In the beginning of recorded history the majority of what we communicated wasn’t text based.
- Before they can speak children make sense of the world through seeing.
- Visuals are processed 60,000 faster than text.
- Images are stored in the long term memory, making them easy to recollect.
- Images act as a springboard for discussions.
- Visual stimuli and emotional response are processed in the same part of the brain, so they’re easily linked.
- Visuals quickly affect us emotionally and psychologically.
- They have the power to influence and encourage action.
- Behavioural psychologists agree that most decisions are based on intuitive judgement and emotions influencing rational thinking.
- Marketing people know this and use images to powerful affect in advertising and campaigns.
Language of the mind
- To go beyond surface knowledge we have to access the subconscious, the language of the mind.
- This language is predominantly non-verbal, metaphorical and teeming with images.
- Visual metaphors and images use the language of the mind, bypassing the limitations of words.
- They elicit thoughts, feelings and words that may be hard to verbalise or lie below the level of consciousness.
- This triggers new trains of thought and possibilities.
- Images can be rearranged in physical space, allowing ideas and thoughts to be compared, analysed and prioritised.
- Connections and relationships emerge giving deeper insight.
- Your mind deciphers these images simultaneously allowing an overview.
- Thoughts, ideas and feelings are recorded permanently and tangibly in your collage.
- It then acts as a continued reminder and source of motivation.
- Human thought processes are largely metaphorical.
- Visuals can represent these often unconscious metaphors.
- Metaphors which give an insight into how you view and respond to situations.
- Discussion reveals the thinking and emotions behind your visual metaphors and how they influence your decisions.
- These metaphors can be assessed then accepted, modified or ditched; reshaping how you make decisions in the future.
- Engages us on a personal level, allowing people to share while encouraging others to listen.
- When told using personal visual metaphors it’s more memorable.
- Improving learning and retention of the information.
- You connect with others where the images and stories resonate.
- Facilitating communication and relationship building.
The collage process/journey
Each workshop or 1-1 session starts with a gentle mindfulness exercise and then comprises four elements – Image selection, Sharing the meaning, Individual collage creation, Storytelling and facilitated discussion.
Step 1: The process of choosing your images.
Step 2: Starting to share the meaning of your images and visual metaphors with our facilitator.
Step 3: Creating your personal visual narrative in collage.
Step 4: Further discussion with our facilitator heightens awareness and prompts deeper insight.
Your collage serves to inspire and remind you what you want to achieve and how you want to be, well beyond the life of the activity.
A picture is worth a thousand words…