A common pastime at my primary school was collecting and swapping scraps – die-cut paper images. The scrapbook was an old paperback, each page containing a single scrap or set – the same design in different sizes. At playtime, collectors exchanged scrap books and thumbed through the pages, poking scraps of interest out of the top of the book before beginning trade negotiations. Simple pleasures.
Many of the scraps we collected featured religious imagery, such as angels, saints, Jesus and Mary. On a recent trip to Mexico, I was surprised to find much of this imagery still in use in religious souvenirs, altar paraphernalia and prayer aids available in shops and stalls around the many churches.
These images arose serendipitously, from working on two projects at once – the Madonna scraps were lying next to some Tunnocks Teacake wrappers waiting to be incorporated in my Scotland map collages.