Autumn Leaves

"Autumn Leaves", mixed media collage on cardboard, Charlie Kirkham 2013.
“Autumn Leaves”, mixed media collage on cardboard, 420x594mm, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

This was an exploration of Autumn. What would Autumn be without a little bit of John Keats:

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease, 10
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
 Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
 Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
 Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
 Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
 Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
 Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
 And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
 Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
 Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
 Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
 Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
 While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 25
 And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
 Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
 Among the river sallows, borne aloft
 Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
 And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30
 Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
 The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
 And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Poetry aside, I was inspired by watching leaves blow about and by the leaf skeletons I found. I used some paint marker on this to highlight parts of the paper. It was another slow process of cutting with scissors and craft knives until I got the detail I wanted. The papers here are a mix of handmade, recycled, origami and junk mail.