This is less about collaboration and more about the hazards & joys of opening artwork up to communal imput, by way of an extension to the question.

'The Yearning' was a large scale textile installation for Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia in November 2011. The proposal was for a 'migration' of  textile sea creatures to cluster on the rocks, cross the walkway, head up a watercourse & cliff area and make it up the side of a set of units above. About half a million people view the exhibition every year (with about 110 artists selected by jury) and for a long time I had wanted to make at least one of the artworks a communal one, which involved members of the public and helped 'demystify' sculpture as being an elite, inaccessible artform. I proposed to complete the bulk of the work myself but to include works from people responding to a call-out.

Via social media, word-of-mouth & leaflets in local shops I  invited people to make their own 'slug' sea creature. I worked out the acceptable parameters for inclusion :they had to be yellow with a pink mouth, and to follow the general form in order to fit into the herd. Modifications were ok. I set up a blog with instructions on how to download a pattern for both sewn textiles and knitted forms, which had step-by-step photographs & directions.

So, how did the experiment work out? From a fairly small scale call-out we ended up with about 40 slugs, which greatly added to the 100 I was able to complete.We had a very competent knitting group turn out a small army of beatiful baby slugs, families who made slugs with their children and then brought them down to see them, a slug all the way from Germany (made by a friend with his wife's underpants as the mouth parts..?!), one slug who had to be gently disengaged from a tutu on arrival (inappropriately dressed), and some slugs which were ..um...a little clumsily made. The latter pieces threw up some interesting questions : did they bring down the work as a whole? Were they interesting as a way to look at repetition, copying a central idea? Perhaps for me, perhaps in a different context, however in this context without many of the public knowing that the work had involved a communal element (most people didn't have catalogues, which credited the makers communally) these peices looked a little shabby in comparison to the rest. However I did include them, and the person who had made them (a 40 year old father) said the joy his 3 & 4 year-old children expressed upon finding them in the show after seeing them being made on the kitchen bench was incomparable. They lived nearby, and insisted on going down to visit 'our slugs' as often as possible. We also had a drinks night for the makers generally where they could meet & talk to exhibition attendees about making the works. The peice was widely featured in the media & won the 'Director's Choice' award. It was a joy to meet all the different people who became involved in the project.

So, in conclusion, what did I learn?. Well, I'd definitely do it again, but I might veer in either of two directions & with a clearer delineation...an open call where I was facilitating the process more & stepping back from the making, or a finite call to skilled makers where we worked on a piece together.  I also now have the beginnings of a database for some red-hot knitters, so who knows what big projects we might tackle!!....( see if you can spot the works by the knitters in the video..) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwO5dk-PBDU&feature=share

Tags: 'The, Australia, Sampson, Yearning', a, communal, crafthaus, project

Views: 33

Attachments:

Replies to This Discussion

Fantastic outcome for your project, they look amazing. I love the slugs, and I can see an army of them slowly heading towards Tamarama and taking over the whole waterfront.

Thank you. Actually, they are taking over my backyard at the moment, waiting for a wash and de-stuff!!xx

RSS

A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

Rachel and Brigitte will be appearing on the wonderful Jay Whaley Metalsmith Benchtalk Radio Show, talking about the Co:Operation Garnish project, how they came up with the idea, what the project is about and the plans moving forward.

The radio show will be LIVE on air September 25, 2014 @ 6PM EST / 3 PM Pacific.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whaleystudios

Listeners can call in during the show via phone, skype, or directly connect via the blog talk website.

Latest Activity

Brigitte Martin posted blog posts
7 hours ago
Profile IconElizabeth Frank and Liz Clark joined crafthaus
9 hours ago
Teresa F Faris posted a photo
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted blog posts
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"To all Course Tutors or Administrators, Goldsmiths’ Fair, the UK’s most exciting showcase of contemporary jewellery and silver, returns this year with a fresh look and raft of new exhibitors. Staged in London’s iconic…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Shine @ The Goldsmiths' Centre http://www.goldsmiths-centre.org/whats-on/exhibitions/shine-2014-young-emerging-design-talent/ 12 Sept – 24 Nov 2014 Shine 2014 turns the spotlight on the exciting design talent currently emerging from the…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Science for Society http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/charity-education/education/science-for-society-courses/ Every year since 1991 the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity has organized one week courses for secondary school science teachers to give…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Running art workshops Brenda Burgess is an artist and sculptor who runs art workshops for children at Leeds Castle and various schools in Kent. She spoke about her career journey and shared advice for earning an income from art. Brenda's work…"
yesterday
Genevieve E. Flynn posted photos
Saturday
Thomas Mann liked Brigitte Martin's group Co:Operation GARNISH
Saturday
Genevieve E. Flynn and Barbara Bayne are now friends
Saturday
rachel timmins commented on Brigitte Martin's group Co:Operation GARNISH
"Hey Katja! There are no limits on quantity.  Please know that if there is limited space but juror's want your work in the exhibition, we (they) may only ask for certain work from the series.  I hope that makes sense."
Saturday
Katja Toporski commented on Brigitte Martin's group Co:Operation GARNISH
"Hello Rachel and Brigitte, I have a question regarding quantities: is each collaborative pair allowed to make one piece or can there be a grouping of pieces? Especially if they are not giant sized?  "
Saturday
The Justified Sinner posted a blog post

Ife Head and Collar

I've been in the workshop a lot over the last week - not all of which has been to bury my head in the sand away from the increasingly nasty pro- and anti-independence campaigns in Scotland (which is also why I've not been so active on social media recently). Mostly, I've been working on commissions - a set of buttons, a couple of rings - and the collar…See More
Saturday
2Roses posted a photo

Yellow Background

We made this yellow background because we're so-o-o-o-o bored with white and graduated backgrounds. Aren't you?Yellow background with polymer clay brooch.
Friday
Peter Antor posted photos
Friday
Emily Hickman posted a photo

Rainbow Bird Necklace

Oxidized Sterling Silver, Vintage Cookie Tin, Japanese Tin Bird, Sleeping Beauty TurquoiseLength is adjustable up to 21" long. Pendant measures 3"x3".
Thursday
Anastasia Dumenjich is now a member of crafthaus
Thursday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"http://www.cfsd.org.uk/sids/fusion/events/re-use-and-re-imagination-for-a-more-sustainable-future/ReUCA Re-use and re-imagination for a more sustainable future12.00 - 13.3024th September 2014Committee Room AUniversity for the Creative…"
Thursday
Emily Hickman liked Sophia Georgiopoulou's photo
Thursday

© 2014   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service