What the heck is a Metaphoracard? Laura Foster Corben and I invented these small (5″ x 7″)collage paintings on matboard to provide art play for Wavy Gravy’s Adult Camp Winnarainbow. I’m the Metaphoracard Girl and Amuse Grove Reader.
In the tradition of side amusements for The Players– the musicians, clowns, dancers, arialists, stiltwalkers, magicians, storytellers and poets of the cosmic, comic Circus– the cards provide diverse diversions, a little taste of trickster mind at play.
As in my Saltworkstudio classes, we work in series, doing three at one time, and follow one of the Almost Unbreakable Cardinal Rules–Paint First. Getting the mark of the hand, paint, brush or ink down before applying images is vital. I’m not sure why, but it seems to transform the cards from stiff constructions to flowing, “wavy,” spontaneous combustions of dreamy image.
They are meant to be entertainments, in the way that some novels are called “An Entertainment.” There is no number to the deck. The deck is temporal and temporary, created in time by a group, played with, and dismantled after. Because they call forth a certain bubbly synchronicity, their accuracy can be astonishing, but unrepeatable. Like an appearance of a Loch Ness Monster, they leave splashy traces, but can’t really be nailed down or captured in a net of a single meaning. And they dissolve after the week at camp, each player claiming their own trading cards of vision, dream, and just plain weird stuff.
Since Camp Winnarainbow emphasizes fun, play, and performance, we wanted to create a recreational visual art form that would give satisfaction in the both in the making and in active use after. The cards were read by a raggle-taggle Amuse group in the temporary Amuse Grove you see below. There’s a Cosmic Phone for when we get stuck. We just dial up the Demigods to get an anwer. The chairs are decorated with old wedding gowns from the Costume Tent.
Metaphoracards require a community. You need a group to get a deck, and you need someone else to read your card. It’s the rule of the Cosmic Trickster that you can’t know what your image might say. I puzzled over my image of Faulkner, doggies, and a flower, until my husband Scott said, “That’s easy. It’s Power: dog power for the body, Faulkner power for the intellent, and the flower is pure vegetative power, an idea bursting out.” Huh, and wow. Flower power?
But… are they serious ART? I absolutely hope not.
My thanks to Wavy Gravy, Jahanara Romney, and Laura Foster Corben for sponsoring me as a Guest Artist at Camp Winnarainbow. Take a look at the cards the talented Susan Cornelis made. Towards the fun!
7 thoughts on “Metaphoracard Collage Play at Camp Winnarainbow for so-called Adults”
What a delightful camp, Suzanne! Your images and descriptions made me feel as though I were right there with you! Such a healthy reminder that we adults need to give ourselves more permission to just PLAY! Thanks for being the drum major inviting us to march in your parade of creativity and wonder!
Thanks for your kind words. Camp Winnarainbow is devoted to play for both kids and adults, and I’m very lucky to have a small place in it. I wore a marching band cap for a while in camp; I must have been following that “different drummer” for a while!
OMG, that looks like so much fun! I wanna play.
Pssssst….it is soooooo fun. All those forbidden collage parts ripped out of National Geos. All that surreal superimposition. And, for a bonus, not so serious. They’re just metaphors….
No, no. That first card is my card. I want it. Can I have it? And if I can’t have it, may I have a print. You know which one. You look like a regular magician.
Heh heh… yes, indeed I do know… and wait until you see the fine details!
Yes. I must see them. Soon. I’ll be in Santa Rosa at the end of the month. This month.