Collaboration and friendship have been an essential tool for me so far in finding my feet as an artist and have for quite a while now, been trending terms. Pooled resources, exchanged skills, two heads, seven studios, one drill or whatever. The main thing is, that in tough times, artists are doing it for themselves and for each other – aren’t they?
I started SHELF with Bex Massey in 2016 because it didn’t always feel like things were friendly enough onve you were birthed rudely out of art school, that people weren’t always sharing information or resource, it seemed mad to me that we were all individually trying to find the loopholes, the best open call sites etc. Together we are stronger. So we started a small initiative around sharing with no strings attached. I look around now and can’t believe how many great like-minded people I’ve met and what they are all achieving in the artist-led sector. Many of them were always there – perhaps it just takes a list from Kevin Hunt [Artist-led Hot 100] and a hashtag to help us all find each other.
To be asked by G39, one of my favourite spaces to come and work with 5 amazing artists is a gift. When I get given such gifts, my instinct is often to share - don't get me wrong, I'm no saint, I recognise the rich gift of bread broken, wine shared and a problem halved.
THIS website will hopefully become a platform of support and a record, both crutch and eventual archive of the results from a discussion group on what constitutes collaboration with the 2019 Fellowship artists at G39 and their peer Sarah Roberts - how we can benefit, how we can give, a chat about hook ups, navigating the artist led scene and the plethora of ways we do and can work together as artists and what added value this brings for life and work. This will be very much a peer discussion. In August and September we will share between ourselves, collaborating for the sake of collaborating and seeing what creative outcome occurs - this we will publish, by then I hope we will also be pals on paper.
'Exchanges don’t need to be spectacular to be special, you don’t need to think about it, to dress up, to perform - just share your routines, behind the scenes outtakes, skills, facts, chip shop windows, shell grottos, football stadiums, launderettes - whatever, things you see in the street, questions you have, basically just something every day that becomes visible or pertinent. I Promise to write you back. ' [invite to fellowship artists to indulge in a correspondence with visiting artist Sarah Roberts]
And the invites don't stop there. I am, a 'peer' and I am also one head and its not full enough to see 360 degrees in the shade. So, with the wise words of Saelia Aparicio on collaboration creating a multiverse I have decided to take the artists fee offered by G39 and carve it up, and to invite co-collaborators to help me talk about this, and in the very act of doing so we begin ourselves to collaborate ... for pints, coffees and 50p and hour we chat and we bring together our resources.
Thanks to these delicious contributors 🙋🏻😘
Suzy Babington, Neena Percy and Ellie Pratt [ & Assembly House
Sarah Cockings and Harriet Fleuriot
And to these two bright minds who collaborate so sensitively and gave me pearls when I asked for a 'thought of the day' 🐚❤️