Colleen O Rourke Profile Photo-page-001.jpg

colleen o'rourke

My collages are created from vinatage sheet music. My first pile of sheet music was collected from my grandmother's piano bench. I was initially drawn to the beautiful vintage graphics on the covers, but this collection also held a lot of memories. I remember her piano, I remember her metronome, but I don't remember her ever sitting down to play. As a child, I sorted through her sheet music and tried to teach myself how to play the simpler songs. The music dated from her childhood through her death and revealed the history of her passion for piano and love for music. I could tell which pieces were among her favorites, because the edges were torn, the seams were taped together, and there were notes written above the measures. This sheet music shared a memoir of my grandmother that I had never had the opportunity to know.

I began to collect more sheet music from other relatives and their relatives. As my stack grew, I noticed the subtle shades in the paper itself. These differing tones arrives after years of use, exposure to sunlight, and exposure to acid from storage. Many pieces were obviously a part of somebody's everyday life, other pieces were simply a page turned, all the pieces were a part of somebody's history. 

My collages bring these chronicles together. I choose pages based on how the shade will enhance the image, but once I cut, angle, layer, and sew the music together, I catch one lyric come together with another lyric to form poetic verses. I am reclaiming the saga that these pages once experiences and am giving them a new narrative.

*Images are a select sample of artists’ gallery inventory. Want to see more works by this artist? Visit us or call to inquire.