Artist Collaboration

It has been a week of collaborations and artist collectives,  making exciting plans and meeting new people.  There has been no time for any actual making but then without all the other there would be less inspiration to help feed it.  The garden sculpture did get finished last weekend and Andy Nelson has added to, what is becoming our own sculpture garden with a unique bird table made from found computer motherboards.  You can see more of Andy’s work at https://www.instagram.com/nelsonandyart/ . The

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week began with a workshop for The Shared Collective, six of us got together to have some fun creating in response to our previous drift around Leamington Spa.  We wanted it to be a completely ‘free’ and intuitive exercise after a year of intense work preparing for exhibition and assessments.  We each brought in materials and took over two walls at the studio and had some fun talking about which parts of the drift had particularly stuck in our minds and why.  Our main subjects seemed to be: water, architecture and the orange muscle man outside one of the shops!  The benefit of being part of an artist collective is

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maintaining contact with fellow artists, we can learn so much from one another and share information and ideas for future projects.  As well as have a lot of fun!  There are exciting plans being implemented over the coming months and we are keen for these plans to engage the local community.  I can’t say too much about them yet as there are a few more hoops to jump through before we can start to action those ideas.

There are many artist collectives and collaborations and I am excited to be a part of two festivals, both implemented by artists and organised and run by artists.  The inaugural Coventry Biennial which runs from the 6th to the 22nd October, implemented by Ryan Hughes of Office for Art Design & Technology engages with artists both as exhibiting, participating, volunteering, curating, learning engagement … and more.  You can keep up-to-date with the Coventry Biennial via Twitter at https://twitter.com/Cov_Biennial .

The second is the Spon Spun Festival, it is the second year for this festival and the itinerary of workshops through July, August and September is fantastic.  Along with the festival weekend and the end of festival exhibition there is a lot going on.  You can read more about Spon Spun Festival here https://sponspun.wordpress.com/  I am thrilled to be providing the documenting alongside Andy Nelson who will be photographing all the events.  Spon Spun is also organised by creatives and fully engages with the local community.  If you’d like to keep up-to-date with what’s happening then click on the website link or follow them on twitter at https://twitter.com/SponSpun

My personal interest in being involved in these are my passion for working alongside other artists, engaging with communities and spreading the joy and value of the arts.  Not only that, but my family roots going back to at least the 1750’s were in Coventry, including Spon Street.  Spon Street has a very interesting history with buildings from Medieval times and is well worth a visit.  The Watchmakers Museum apparently has an abundance of local history and I shall be going there next week.  Also The Weavers House and The Herbert Museum if you are interested in finding out more about Coventry.

Artist collectives are growing ever more popular, what do you think?  Are you part of an artist collective or do you work on collaborative projects with other artists as part of your practice?  What do you think the benefits are of being part of an artist collective and collaborative working practices – or negatives?  Would you like to see more collaborative works represented in galleries or do you think they work better in the spaces they co-opt?  A great book about this subject is, “Co-Art: Creative Collaboration” by Ellen Mara De Wachter, – worth a read.

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