Friday, December 5, 2008

The Synectics of Nicholas Roukes

In his preface to Art Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Art (Davis Publications, 1984), author Nicholas Roukes states: "The term Synectic. . . means 'bringing forth together' and 'bringing different things into unified connection.' This is a form of creative thinking that combines imagination and analogical thinking in order to transform commonplace, familiar elements into new and unusual structures." Yes, yes. . . this, to me, is what collage is all about! I just received the book, along with its companion title Design Synectics: Stimulation Creativity in Design (Davis Publications, 1988) and I'm so glad I have both. There are concepts, suggested projects and numerous illustrations and my head is spinning already. I'm going to start my reading with Art Synectics since it was written first. Roukes suggests using his design book as "a springboard for personal experimentation and . . . excursions into realms of fantasy and free association. . . [keeping] an open mind for emerging ideas--and happy surprises". I am a former librarian who believes the right book has the power to change a person's life. I suspect that the way I approach making collage art is about to be enhanced forevermore! The links section of Roukes' Artful Jesters! site connects to a number of artists worth a look. Here are a few of my favorites:

Tony Fitzpatrick (an amazing collage artist discussed here last week).

Po Shun Leong creator of intricate wood constructions which are the subject of the book Po Shun Leong: Making Art Boxes by Tony Lydgate (Sterling, 2001).

Norman Catherine (I love "Pandora's Box" and Group Therapist").

Liz Mamorsky's Functional and Dysfunctional Art (Click on one of her Iconic Abstractions and see what happens; I love her sense of humor and her wall sculpture called "The Good Time Fairy of Honest Weight").

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