Collaborative projects enable ideas to emerge in unexpected ways and can lead to new collections of work or just new ways of thinking.
During 2020 and into 2021 I have been having collaborative discussions with jeweller Amanda Doughty Both of us have Brighton and Sussex as our creative base and use our environment to inspire our work in different but interconnected ways.
Through discussions and observations of each other’s practices, we have found shared thinking and inspiration. I am inspired by the rural landscape of the Sussex Downs while Amanda’s work is informed by the urban environment of the Sussex coast. Both of us use walks to inspire us and photography as a tool to document and research ideas. We both collect found objects on our walks and keep them for inspiration in increasingly fascinating collections at our studios.
Amanda and I are now developing our informal collaborative thinking into an idea that would build a structure for a formal collaborative project – allowing our collaboration to flourish as well as sharing some of the collaborative energy with other artists and makers.
The images below document some of our early visual research journeys and tentative making processes arising from our collaborative discussions…
In early 2019, I worked with weaver Imogen Di-Sapia on a collaboration which resulted in a series of pieces developed in response to her hand-spun and hand-woven textiles . The pieces featured surface decoration in the form of repetitive lines and marks incised into the vessel or painted onto the surface. The markings reflected the soft lines created by the warp and weft of Imogen’s textiles.
The original collection was exhibited alongside Imogen’s ‘Selkie‘ textiles at a pop-up exhibition in Helsinki’s LOKAL gallery in February 2019. Elements of the design continue in my ‘Weft’ range of vessels.
Spanning 2016-2017, the Making Ground project was a 12 month Arts Council funded collaboration between basket maker Annemarie O’Sullivan and ceramicist Elaine Bolt. The Making Ground project involved creative exploration of place, of materials and ideas; all inspired by working and exploring the land of a former clay brick site.
The project included a series of workshops and exhibitions and the makers produced both ephemeral and enduring pieces using clay, willow and found objects from the site.
Ideas seeded during the project have had a lasting impact on the work I produce.