This project plays on the idea of a memorising game - adding new artists' works into the mix each time, whilst remembering and reusing less recent contributions. The start point was a film of birds swimming in a fountain, the birds movements were then studied in directional line drawings. The group then used materials such as wire and spinning tops to explore the texture of water within the original film and so the project evolved. Each step moved forward with a new artist’s contribution, and then took a step back, delving into the bank of imagery to form points of connection. Layering practices and contrasting perspectives.
The artists involved in the project are Ioanna Mavromichali, Thori Ingles, Florence Webb, Kira Shopley, Joe Ford and myself - Molly Crump, acting as a project facilitator. Each artist retains a sense of their individual contribution, with distinct styles marking out the varying responses. But by working in this way a dialogue is created, a free flowing exchange rather than formal collaboration. Instead of working together in the creation of each artwork, the artists involved offered up their own contributions, as a response to other works held within the project. This exchange also sees the artists ‘repurpose’ works, layering images alongside their own in digital collages or film.
The aim of this project is to foster a sense of connection whilst so much of this year has been spent isolating at home. The hope is to recreate a sense of an informal studio culture, through open exchange and a discussion of each other's work. I hoped this in turn would spark inspiration and artistic possibility in what has been, for many, a time in which creative energies were not always abundant.
This intervention into the isolated work-from-home tunnel, reflects a wider motivational framework within my own way of working; a proposition of a socially engaged art practice which focuses on the wellbeing of others. In other writing this has focused on using art as a public wellbeing agenda. This means stepping out from the traditional ideas of individualised art therapy, and repositioning both public art-making and art-viewing situations as opportunities for therapeutic benefit. Examples of this include socially engaged works such as Rasheed Araeen’s Shamiyaana cafe or therapeutic public engagement projects such as the AIDS quilt.
This (smaller scale) instance has not been so much about public wellbeing, but more about the personal wellbeing of the group. By reframing our approach to art-making, as a site for social engagement and playful experimentation, the difficulties of working from home were hopefully somewhat improved upon. This collaborative approach also disrupts the notion of an individualised solo artist or author through the recycling of imagery and peer to peer artistic influence the project provided.