In keeping with our new collaborative projects which we’ll be including in the hillscene this year, here’s a perfect example of how collaborations can serve to extend and inspire us as artists. This Thursday at tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE (tbC) in Belgrave, local poet Justine Walsh and visual artist Shelley Krycer launch a collection of exciting new works on paper collaboratively created by the two, including a limited edition art book ‘From Chasm To Cave’.
The collaborative process has been both an inspiration and a supportive framework for the creation of the three bodies of work to be exhibited this week. While Shelley and Justine first crossed paths in 2012 through many hills based artistic projects, events, and both participated as artists and mentors at tbC, it wasn’t until 2014 when collaborating on a live art performance that their ongoing collaboration was born. One large sheet of paper was shared and used to respond to speakers at the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Management (OELLEN) AGM. Justine wrote and Shelley drew. Moving around and across each other to form richly layered text and image, their lines interconnected, overlapped, grew out of each other. Over a couple of hours, from the front of the AGM, an artwork was created and a new way of working was discovered. They left the event inspired and excited to see where else this could go.
Previously, they had been familiar with each other’s work, both finding a deep interest and respect for each other’s practices. Through this creative play they discovered mutual interests in making works that are earthy and ethereal, delicate and powerful, personal and universal. These dynamic energies and contrasts have allowed Shelley and Justine to create engaging and highly evocative work.
The process of creating the live artwork struck a resonance in them. On the way back from the AGM, discussions led them to a concept; a book consisting of Justine’s text and Shelley’s art – simple but powerful with room to explore a range of ideas. They began working on it that very day, and discovered a while after choosing the poem that Shelley was in fact present while Justine was workshopping it with another poet in 2013 drawing the two engaged in the creative process for an ongoing collection of drawings. Such organic encounters and connections play a large role in the inspiration behind their work.
The collaborative process has been naturally intuitive and playful, with both artists finding joy in following the work and seeing where it can take them. Intensive studio sessions proved prolific, and their mutual adoration of texture, tone and nuance has led them to many unexpected and wonderful places. The works reflecting this interaction are unique and diverse, clearly created with wonder and tenderness.
The From Chasm to Cave launch & exhibition opens 6-8pm on Thursday 26th March at tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE, 1658a Burwood Highway, Belgrave. Limited edition copies (edition of 75) of From Chasm to Cave will be for sale for $30. There will also be performances by Justine of both song and spoken word poetry. The exhibition is also open over the weekend 12 – 3pm Sat and Sun.
Both artists will be involved in Open Studios Weekend – April 18 – 19