Gina Ulgen - diverging from the trashpack (Norwich, Norfolk, UK)

Gina - 10.14.2014 - 1

Mail-art by IUOMA member Gina Ulgen (Norwich, Norfolk, UK)

October 14, 2014 - In her first mail-art exchange with me, Gina Ulgen distinguished herself in the found art realm of Trashpo. Subsequently, she was linked to the activities of UK trashpoets (DKULTUK) and contributed to as well as benefitted from some phenom recognition they received a few months back. Yet Gina Ulgen has also established herself outside the trashpack.

I am thrilled to have received this second missive from Gina – an incredibly thoughtful gift – which reveals her larger collage talents. This original work is mounted on sturdy cardboard and at approximately 7 x 9.5 inches carries some power in terms of scale as well (for mail-art). The piece was carefully sealed in cellophane.

If Trashpo practice can be illuminated by establishing DaDa roots, I will offer – in terms of context – that Gina Ulgen’s wonderful collage work (here as well with other examples) is driven by the psychological underpinnings of surrealism. Here are some more scans from this mailing:

Gina - 10.14.2014 - 2

We have Gina Ulgen’s signature from the reverse side of the collage and a card (above) that echoes the basic structure and concept of the larger collage:

Gina - 10.14.2014 - 3

I think Gina Ulgen is acknowledging the indeterminate nature of her work: The fact that it is particularly open to multiple (but equally valid) interpretations. In terms of offering one possible interpretation for this collage, I think it can viewed as a piece about surfaces: the surface of a piece of visual art or the surface of a text. The collage is dominated by the interesting, Rorschach-like inkblot, which provides a surface and implies abstraction. The man entering the pipe (or tunnel) violates, fractures, the illusory surface of the collage, suggesting the artificial nature of surfaces in art, illusions that obscure rather than reveal the real and the true.

Gina - 10.14.2014 - 4

Gina - 10.14.2014 - 5

Many thanks to Gina Ulgen for this incredible collage!

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Comment by DKULT on October 19, 2014 at 2:24am

very nice!

Comment by on October 17, 2014 at 3:03am

I've just come across some info to add.. The man and the tunnel was something I clipped out of a 1940's newspaper, but there wasn't any accompanying info to explain. Nonetheless, I liked the picture and have kept it for a while... Now on further reading I see that for open spaces in the UK that were possible landing sites for enemy aircraft, fields were covered with obstructions like this concrete tunnel... Mystery solved!

Comment by on October 15, 2014 at 1:05am

Thank you so much DVS for the articulate review and blog. It was intended as a gift and pleased that you felt that.

I'm not experienced enough to know where I'm going with it all other than I create what I like though I do feel inspired some what by surrealism and mystery. (humour and visual puns too)

Often something is born out of the materials to hand though I put more thought into what I'm going to do than the practice itself.. (my partners phrase for me is 'slow and steady wins the day') I visualise the result, the method, packaging and presentation if its a product.. I make a lot of notes and lists. I love it if someone gets where I'm coming from, what if anything I'm trying to say but ultimately that others like it is satisfaction enough. Thank you again. x

Comment by De Villo Sloan on October 15, 2014 at 12:21am

Gina's collage makes me think of Cheryl Penn. I used to write her:

"You do understand what you're doing in your art, don't you?"

She would respond, "No, I have no idea. You should explain."

"Well, it's deeply disturbing."

"Then you really have to tell me."

Then I'd write: "It's plain as day. If you can't see it, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."

This is because maybe it's better not to let it know if you've identified some underlying thing that explains the work. Bergman, I think I remember, refused to go into analysis because he believed that level of self-awareness might ruin his creativity.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on October 15, 2014 at 12:14am

Great to "see" you again, PP. Gina is a very fine collage artist, IMHO. There's a consistency in what she does. I am now a little curious if she has an underlying concept or approach. Maybe she responds to images intuitively and these things well out of her unconscious.

The pipe man seems deeply Freudian somehow. This is not a pipe?

Comment by Petrolpetal on October 14, 2014 at 9:25pm

I love it - the man in the pipe especially!

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