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: 36

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

Latest Activity

Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"At the Bench Video Project – Silver Sail Pendant Part One Soldering is one of the hardest techniques to master and a technique that takes a while to perfect.It is nice to be able to make jewellery that does not involve any soldering. Being…"
5 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"'Make your Mark' 2015 Confirmed We have some exciting news…after the great success of our first ever Mark your Mark student open-day in 2014; this year we are holding a second event in 2015 over two days! This FREE event will be…"
5 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Valuation Days, Goldsmiths' Hall These popular valuation events offer the chance for a private one-to-one consultation with our expert valuer whilst your pieces are professionally appraised. You will also receive a comprehensive portfolio of…"
5 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Getting Started Programme 2015 Getting Started is an intensive, free week-long business development programme held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre for those who have graduated from a certified UK Precious Metal course in the last five years. The…"
5 hours ago
Teresa F Faris joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Co:Operation GARNISH

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 exhibition cooperatively arranged by Rachel Timmins and Brigitte Martin.Please join this group to stay informed !! This is the official exhibition blog.See More
17 hours ago
Jennifer Merchant added 2 discussions to the group SNAG
22 hours ago
Ruudt Peters posted a video

GROUND NOW workshop with Ruudt Peters

Why Ground Now? Informational video about Ruudt Peter's upcoming Summer workshop. More info: http://crafthaus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ruudt-peters-ground-now-workshop
yesterday
Barbara N McFadyen is now a member of crafthaus
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"There is a new Government Scheme introduced to support students currently completing their undergraduate degree having paid the new £9k undergraduate fee. Next year’s graduates will be able to apply for the new postgraduate loan scheme…"
yesterday
Jennifer Merchant commented on Brigitte Martin's group SNAG
"2015 Call for Nominations and Candidacy   The 2015 SNAG Election will determine three (3) members of the Board of Directors, and one (1) member of the Nominations & Elections Committee.   The deadline for candidates to be added to the…"
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post
Thursday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"BOUNDARIES We cordially invited to participation inhttp://www.silver.legnica.pl/en/?Competitions:BOUNDARIES 24th International Legnica Jewellery Competition BOUNDARIES in the frame of Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2015Deadline for sending…"
Thursday

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service