I chose the exercise on tearing because I thought it would be interesting to compare the difference between a torn and a cut line. I gave some thought as to whether or not I liked tearing and decided I did, which surprised the ‘controlling’ side of me!
Tearing gives paper a softer edge which makes it feel soft and fuzzy; it produces interesting shapes that are not as predictable or accurate as cutting. Like a straight line drawn without a ruler, the wavering, undulation is easier on the eye than a stark line. I have come to realise such imperfections are what makes work more accessible and attractive.
Assembling torn paper also has implications on the way neighbouring colours interact with one another.
I see tearing as a gentle, mindful process without trace of violence (because then it would be ripping). It also suggests value, if something is kept, even though it is torn there must be some worth to the object. This reminds me of the Japanese aesthetic wabi-sabi.
I didn’t research any particular artist or designer using tearing. I looked briefly at some of the images google pulled up for me but nothing really grabbed my attention. I saw lots of collages put together from scraps of torn paper and noticed a current trend for tearing and adding to photographs.
Although I like the way different shapes and textures are brought together, sort of pixelating the image, I have personally never had much success with collage. I decided to focus on the appearance of the torn edge rather than concentrate on creating an image with the pieces, this in fact proved key to the exercise.