What happens when 6 artists are asked to choose a collaborator to work with in new ways? Who will they choose? What will they want to make? How will the process work? Will these collaborations continue after the exhibition? Will they fail? Will this opportunity encourage the artists to collaborate in the future? How does the collaborative working process differ to their usual ways of working? What are the benefits or disadvantages of working collaboratively?
An Experiment in Collaboration looks at the intricacies of artists operating as part of a team or partnership, laying bare the process and opening it up to scrutiny. The ongoing project is collaborative on every level: curator, writers, design team, artists and associates, share ideas, negotiate changes and make decisions about possibilities and outcomes. An Experiment in Collaboration forms part of the Jerwood Visual Arts series of exhibitions and initiatives to support and promote emerging talent. 6 artists were invited to choose a collaborator to work with and to submit proposals for an experimental project that looked at the process of collaborative practice including:
· Gemma Anderson + forensic psychiatrist Dr Tim McInerny and three of his patients from Bethlem Hospital, London = a series of revealing portraits; · Daniel Baker + computer game designer Ricky Haggett = a computer game of the artist’s fictional world of ‘Glob’; · Michael Pybus + Dazed & Confused magazine = a series of fashion photographs set within Pybus’ painting/sculptural installation; · Paul Richards + artists: Jason Dungan, Jenifer Evans, Claire Hooper, Edward Peake, Guy Rusha & Gili Tal, Joe Walsh = an experimental film for cinema; · Karen Tang + architect Daniel Sanderson = a Modernist building titled ‘Modern Molluscs’; · Artist collaborators Jackson Webb + biophysicist Dora Tang = chemical drawings that challenges the role of the ‘author’ within collaborative practice.
The exhibition will begin a conversation about collaborative working practice through a series of experiments and interconnected dialogues while allowing for each of the collaborators to explore a new way of working, drawing either on the other’s expertise, ideas, knowledge or experience.
Two discussions, open to the public, will take place during the exhibition:
Monday 11 August 6 - 8pm: Chaired by Sarah Williams, curator and artists Michael Pybus, Karen Tang and Daniel Baker plus collaborators.
Thursday 21 August 6 - 8pm: Chaired by writers Tamiko O’Brien and Mark Dunhill and artists Gemma Anderson, Jackson Webb, Paul Richards plus collaborators.
A catalogue, with foreword by Tamiko O’Brien and Mark Dunhill, designed by The Partners will accompany the exhibition. The catalogue will be launched during the discussion on Thursday 21 August from 6 - 8pm.
Exhibition curated by Sarah Williams.
Jerwood Visual Arts is an umbrella structure that celebrates and supports the key annual visual arts awards and prizes supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation including: the Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Sculpture Prize, Jerwood Contemporary Makers, Jerwood Moving Image Awards, Jerwood Contemporary Painters and Jerwood Photography Awards.
Collaborations: Artist and printmaker, Gemma Anderson collaborated with Dr Tim McInerny, Forensic Psychiatrist of Bethlem Hospital London, to create etched portraits that explore the relationship between psychiatrist and patient. Gemma was granted access to wards and was given permission to draw patients at both Bethlem Hospital and Knockbracken Hospital (Belfast). The dialogue with each patient played a key role in the formation of the portraits which were drawn from life and include imagery that relate to the individual’s personal history, diagnosis and medication. The images also make reference to the history of psychiatric ideas and the humours and pseudoscientific beliefs from bygone eras.
Artist Daniel Baker and computer game designer, Ricky Haggett have worked together to explore Baker’s fictional world of ‘Glob’ through the creation of a computer game. Glob is a universe of anthropomorphic characters; tiny grey figures carrying red balloons, monkey-like creatures with long winding tails, flaming eyeballs, and giant disembodied heads that spew forth smoke which are engaged in battles, power struggles and ambiguous deeds. The player is encouraged to interact and direct the acts within the game. As the project developed, Baker and Haggett generated a blog to exchange ideas and images, record progress, and post the latest versions of the game: www.barkwayraddow.wordpress.com A playable version of the game is available at www.gleanofglob.org. The soundtrack to the game was produced in collaboration with Andy Baker.
Artist Michael Pybus, approached Dazed & Confused magazine with the aim to explore links between art and fashion, surface and display through a direct collaboration. The interest in surface informed the discussion between collaborators; how surfaces can be obliterated or tarnished to what they represent such as the passing of time or glamour and seduction in the glossy surface of a magazine. Dazed & Confused responded to the artworks in the artist’s studio. Together they directed a photo shoot with models set within an installation of works by Michael Pybus. The photographs were then selected by the artist, stylist and photographer to a series of stories and individual images. The Dazed & Confused team include: Photographer: Jenny Hueston, Stylist: Kim Howells, Hair: Amiee Robinson using Bumble and Bumble, Makeup: Hiromi Ueda using Dermalogica, Accessory designer: Fred Butler, Photographer assistant: Jamie Smith, Makeup assistant: Kaori Mitsuyasu, Models: Charlotte Pallister at Models 1 – Julien, Pilar at Select.
Paul Richards, artist and film maker, has collaborated with artists; Jason Dungan, Jenifer Evans, Claire Hooper, Edward Peake, Guy Rusha, Gili Tal and Joe Walsh to produce an experimental film for cinema titled ‘On Second thoughts, Eddie!’. The intention of the film was to investigate group production and interaction, taking influence from the working structure of Hans Richter's film ‘Dreams That Money Can Buy’ (1947). The film is a portrait of the artist Eddie Peake, who appears in a variety of guises and contexts. He is both the protagonist and link throughout the film, a phantasm or pure character, who follows an Odyssean journey through real and imagined time.
Artist Karen Tang, and architect Daniel Sanderson, have collaborated to produce ‘Modern Molluscs’ a modernist structure, loosely based on Le Corbusier’s rooftop building on Unité d’Habitation. The building has been invaded and inhabited by fantasy molluscs and other imaginary marine creatures. Sanderson works on many scales within the built environment and Tang’s sculptural practice investigates the rapid development and social experience of cities. The project has developed from their interest in Modernist architecture and through conversations about nautical experiences.
Jackson Webb, an artist collaboration between Mark Jackson and Charlotte Webb continue to collaborate with Dora Tang, biophysicist, on a project which acknowledges dialogue as a medium. The work has taken the form of a documentation of ongoing conversations as well as a series of chemical drawings that were created by dropping laser dyes and solvents onto paper. The resulting images, viewed as documentation on a TV monitor, are instances of pattern making, which are un-authored by any of the collaborators. The self-creating chemical drawings can be seen as a metaphor for the collaborative process, in which authorship becomes outside of the individual and is propelled in a shared, reflexive space. The work aims to raise epistemological questions about the relationship of knowledge to the visual, and the nature of research in art and science disciplines.