As a kid, to stay out of trouble and not drive my mom crazy with my excessive energy, she would encourage me to tell stories, cutting up images from old Life Magazines. I’d get busy pasting them in scrapbooks she’d sew together with her industrial strength Singer Sewing Machine, stitching unused meat packing paper left over from when my dad was a butcher. Soon, I started creating abstractions and non-linear reflections, which were often baffling, but far more interesting to me. When studying film I realized that the theory of paper montage is as appropriate to fine art as film montage is to cinema. As the 60’s and subsequent decades and events rolled by, I began to appreciate the fractured universe we all lived in and that the collage was the perfect way to respond to and organize all manner of chaos into artistic statements. In college I would supplement my income to pay my off-campus rent by selling some of these collages (wish I had them back), and, as an educator, continued to make collages and teach students the tricks of visual assembly. When I retired, I engaged myself in digital collage making, became acquainted with Public Domain sites, and morphed together my own art, photography and PD images to create a sustained interest in attempting to understand the world on my own terms using the art of the collage.
Edison & His Children
Indifference in Europe
BA/G: Why do you create?
EM: I taught my students that a complete life, a fulfilling life, must engage creation. We are creatures, we are created; therefore, we must reciprocate by creating. In doing this, one makes his or her life one of art. A life without art is an empty one.
BA/G: How do you create?
EM: I subscribe to Aristotle’s “Theory of Natural Phenomena,” which, stated simply posits that the universe is made up of material, concrete and abstract; we take these materials and attempt to use them efficiently; the most efficient use is to rely on forms, patterns, and conventions to shape these materials; the most important goal is to create meaning (final) by challenging form and establishing new patterns. My materials as a collagist are images; my use of them incorporates relationships, geometries, colors, tones, and visual themes, some for which I honor things as they exist, some for which I rupture and distort to give a new meaning.
BA/G: For whom do you create?
EM: I create to satisfy my own curiosity and my desire to see the world on my own terms. I share what I create with others to engage in conversation, to reflect on their ideas, and to glean new meaning from multiple perspectives in order to create anew. It is the abstract of all art–to express the lyricism of the times.
Edward Morneau is a retired English and Film Studies teacher currently living in Salem, MA. In his retirement he continues to create and publish works of literature, music, and art. As an author he has published an array of books, including parodies of great literature (Willy Loman, Nosferatu; Billy Budd, WTF?), YR science fiction (The Tangles), a George Orwell estate-sanctioned study guide to 1984), satires (Teacher on Rye, Pineapple Hands), and poetry and lyrics (Igloo, Jacquerie). As a musician and composer he has released a number of CD’s (Trepanning, Before the Second Rooster, Jacquerie) and has received honors from The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the Euro-Folk Music Protest Fest. As a life long collagist, his work has recently been shown in boutique galleries in Norwood, Ma and Salem, MA. In association with Salem State University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, his adaptation of Mark Twain’s The War Prayer will be exhibited at Salem State University’s Francis E. Berry Library and Learning Commons, from September 2018 until January 2019. He loves to travel, is very fussy about chowder, and plays guitar and sings in a Beatle cover band, called Glass Onion.
© Edward Morneau 2018