Wednesday, 18 June 2008

What is Ephemera?

I was talking to my friend today about Art Journaling and said that I often use ephemera, "what's FMerra?" asks she....

Ephemera is *actually* bits of paper that should have been thrown away, pieces of paper such as leaflets and newspaper cuttings, sweetie wrappers and train tickets. Pieces of everyday life that are mostly discarded, the minor documents of your life, things that you use fleetingly and barely remember... thats what makes them ephemeral (Meaning: Being only present briefly)

And Ephemera used in art journals (and scrapbooking and keepsake making and altered art) should mean something to you, evoke a memory, remind you of a trip, a meeting, a hug, a good time... you keep that sweetie wrapper because your man gave it to you on your first date, you keep it tucked inside your diary, its a little reminder of *then*. You keep that train ticket because you went to visit your aunt and you had such a cool time. *Real Ephemera* means something to you.

And... that's why I don't understand packets of ephemera sold in art supply stores:
  • Firstly:- by the very meaning of the word ephemera, it is generally designed to be discarded, not purchased

  • Secondly:- Reproduction copies of postcards and cigarette cards and bus tickets have no memory evoking properties, they are just faux snippets of someone else's time

  • Thirdly:- You keep, save and use ephemera to add to your journal or scrapbooks to help you remember a time or can a reproduction cigarette card do that? It holds no memory for you...

...think of that sweetie wrapper and that train ticket - add them to your journal or scrapbook, write about *that* time, make art about *that* time, use the ephemera as a starting point for your recollection so you can document that memory and the related ephemera together.

So my answer to "what's FMerra?"... little paper pieces of me and my time gone by.

No comments:

Post a Comment