During the 2023 Women's Retreat, Rev. Jane invited everyone to explore their inner self through the practice of Soul Collage. This month, we are honored to offer the personal collages from women in our congregation on the Art Exhibit wall.
What is Soul Collage you ask?
Soul Collage is an expressive arts practice done individually or in community. Founded by Seena B. Frost, the method develops creativity and intuition, encourages self discovery, and provides personal guidance. https://soulcollage.com/
We are so grateful for the Soul Collages donated by Earline Fechter, Ali Main, Jessica Herzog, Barbara Burke, Diane Byrne, Ceilia Mathew, Erika McCoy and Rev. Jane. In addition, Earline, Ali and Jessica shared their intimate self-discovery through this artistic practice.
Earline Fechter found wisdom and diverse spirituality with her collages.
The first one "Eyes are the Windows of the Soul" evolved after I started looking at the photos in my package. I started to see the wisdom and emotions in the eyes of women of all ages, and that spoke to me. It reminded me of my mother, aunt, sister and best friend that have supported me along this journey.
The second one I created was my version of "Kids4Peace". I intentionally looked through several packages of photos to find specific images to reflect the diversity of spirituality. This collage reminds me of the Beloved Community that Dr. King spoke about. "The love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men."
Ali Main discovered wild women, loyalty and corgis. How did you approach your collage?
I approached my collage just looking for pictures that caught my eye or intrigued me, hoping that God was present somehow in those thoughts and reactions. What images were you surprised you were down to when selecting photos?
I was surprised the main figure caught my attention. Kind of dark, yet with a bright chest and a cloak that looked like feathered wings. Jane had introduced us to the stages of womanhood (maiden, mother, wild woman and crone) and this figure spoke to me of the wild woman, older, with deep, burning passion for “what’s next” and wings to take flight into the next adventure. The tattoo’ed images made me think of a compass and following God’s guidance into the future.
How did Soul Collage help you connect with your soul?
I recognized that I was processing another layer of grief, since this was my first time back at the Transfiguration Center after my mum died. The corgi I chose was an image associated with Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis and spoke to me of loyalty, love and obedience (present both in dog and owner). My soul collage helped me to see and express the work that my soul was already doing and gave my head and my heart chance to catch up with each other.
And finally, Jessica Herzog shared her step by step approach to this personal journey.
The way I approached the soul collage was clearly a bit different than how the rest of the ladies approached it, I hadn’t glued anything down as everyone wrapped up. With the folder of images, I went through them one by one. If I had any strong reaction, good, bad, didn’t matter - I put into a pile for further review.
From there, I then began to cut with the blade and mat. Still working image by image. I was still cutting when the rest of the ladies were wrapping up. Clearly I was taking my time.
Later that day I took the images and supplies into my room at the retreat, everything spread out over the floor, processing it all. What images spoke to each other? Even if the images “didn’t make sense” together, if I felt they spoke to me to be together, I put them in piles together. Still nothing glued down.
These ‘theme’ piles then were explored one by one, playing with layout and making some additions cuts of the paper before gluing to the board. It was in this part of my process that the lessons began to unfold. Later in the retreat when we shared our work with each other, I with my pile of soul collage cards said half joking, “clearly I have a lot that I’m working through right now.” When you look not just at the quantity of soul collage I submitted for the exhibition (there are still easily half a dozen still at my house), the complexities and simplicity of what I created is evident of that statement. I personally got far more than I expected out of this activity! And fully intend to continue this practice.
Make sure you swing by the exhibit this month and
visit the Chapel of the Rose to take a turn at creating
your own Soul Collage.
Special thanks to Kathy Stockman and Erika McCoy who installed this exhibit.