Collage Kitchen is a platform for cut-and-paste addicts hosted by me, Helen Hartmann. I believe that collage is an easily accessible form of creative expression, a tool for self-care and a vehicle for community-building.

As a freelance writer and translator, I spend a lot of time with words. When I write, I craft a story or message by building a piece of text with the right words. Translating is another art in itself. I enjoy the subtle nuances between the meaning and emotion of a single word in one language or another. There’s a certain amount of playing with sentences until they fit.

And then there’s collage. To me, making collages is about capturing life experiences and expression in images. Writing is the same, but with words. In essence, they’re both about connecting with others.

I make collage to translate and visualise the things I carry in my head and my heart. It’s a hugely satisfying way of expressing myself. There’s magic in letting my hands do the work and giving my head a rest. We’re bombarded with information and images all the time, especially online. But when I make a collage, I'm consciously going offline and filtering the images I want to work with.

When I’m making a collage, time becomes elastic. The external world is quiet, and I relish the simple pleasure of letting my hands do the work: selecting paper, cutting, tearing, assembling and glueing. It brings me a lot of joy, and it could do for you too.