Why I choose to collaborate.

Collaboration and why I choose to work with others?

Collaborating with other artists and makers has become increasingly important to me.
A couple of years ago five of us from the Crafts Councils hothouse programme in 2012 met in a pub in Southwark to begin discussions about organising an exhibition on our own terms.  To be able to make work we wanted to make without having to write a proposal or fulfil a brief.

At that time our aim was an exhibition, after several meetings and many email conversations between us all we had secured two venues to show this new work and called it Haptic/Tacit. 

We applied for an Arts Council grant and was successful, we invited Kimberley Chandler
to write an essay for us and invited our mentors from Hothouse to exhibit along side each of us.

The exhibition was about strengthening artists networks, encouraging conversations and critical observation.

With the grant we were able to produce a catalogue to accompany both exhibitions, in this we included a conversation between each pairing giving a deeper insight into the working relationships between mentor and mentee. 

The entire process between meeting in Southwark and opening the first exhibition in London was two years. 

During the take down in London we were discussing where to go from here as this had become something more than simply five artists and two exhibitions. 

The title of our exhibitions soon became our collaborative group name.

We set the exhibition up in Oxford in January 2017 during the 7 weeks there we ran a collaborative making workshop for adults and a Q&A chaired by Kimberley.

During this time it gave us some time to begin to think about how we go forward.
The idea of continuously working with different artists and makers was something we found exciting because it keeps the process fresh by introducing different ideas, working methods, materials, and pushing the group dynamic. 

So the core of the group remains the same including Kimberley and each exhibition or event we will each individually invite another artist or maker to work with us. 
Based around a subject or theme. 

Each pairing can work however they choose they can make a collaborative piece of work together or make work that responds to one another. 
This is collaborative working on multiple levels.

The catalogue is another element we intend to continue with Kimberley, we will also invite professions, curators, scientists, architects.... to contribute around the subject we choice.

Together we have a stronger voice, we draw on one another strengths, we can explore the possibility of making work that we personally want to develop and It's always about the group and not the individual. 

The next step for us is updating our website but in the meantime 
for more information about our work to date follow the links to Instagram and twitter 


Perpendicular studio 

Is my other collaboration.
Perpendicular was founded in 2011 shortly after Sasha and myself finished our MA at Central Saint Martins. Together we felt that we are able to make larger more ambitious spatial work.


We have a wonderful harmony in the way we work together, collaboration is often about pushing the work beyond your own solitary vision, throwing ideas around until you are able to find a resolve. 
Listening to the other person taking everything into consideration and working through different viewpoints.

Collaboration for me is about sharing thoughts, moving forward to achieve the same vision. to have another pair of eyes, to challenge, to share the workload, and to push you out of your comfort zone. 

Otherwise we remain small and inward looking. 

Haptic-Tacit Exhibitors

Following on from the last blog Haptic-Tacit.

I talked about who was involved in these two exhibitions, how we came together as a group and why we are doing this. 

In October 2016 we will be showing at the Leyden Gallery in London E1 http://leydengallery.com

In January we are moving out of London to Oxford http://www.oldfirestation.org.uk/gallery/

Each one of us has invited our Buddy or Mentor from the http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk
hothouse3 programme to join us.

The line up looks something like this: 

Kim Norton http://www.kimnorton.co.uk
Laura Ellen Bacon http://lauraellenbacon.com

Jane Cairnes http://www.janecairns.co.uk
Annie Turner http://www.galeriebesson.co.uk/turner.html

Laura Grain http://www.lauragrain.com
Shelly Goldsmith http://shellygoldsmith.com

Tomas Appleton http://www.thosworks.com
Giles Macdonald http://www.gilesmacdonald.com

Grant Aston http://www.grantaston.com/#0
Bonnie Kemske http://www.bonniekemske.com

During Hothouse we were each given a buddy where 10 hours contact time 
was allotted. The role of the buddy was someone who was working in a similar way and could be a support throughout the six months. 

The role of the mentor was someone who may be working in a similar way or in my case I wanted to gain more knowledge about arts commissioning and working outside the gallery context so I was paired up with Francis Lord a curator and arts consultant. 

Both of these professional links and contacts were hand picked for each one of us. 
From my personal experience both pairings were really well considered and perfectly matched.

This part of the programme set you up with a mini network and some cases new friendships and peer groups. 

That's one of the reasons we wanted to include the Buddies and Mentors. In some cases parallels will be drawn between the two practices this can be through material, through working methods or through thinking approach and concept. 

Again in my case working with Laura the similarities firstly begin with space and scale. 
Although we work in very different materials I think we are going to look at weight and density or the illusion of these two words and how that differs between willow and clay. 

We have a group meeting in the next few weeks and our press release will also be ready to begin spreading the word. We are also in the process of discussing a networking event during one or both of these exhibitions for past and present hothouse participants.