Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Collaborative Book

It's a very exciting prospect to have the opportunity to work on a project with another artist whose work you really admire, so it's been a wonderful experience to work on a collaborative book with Jack Oudyn.  We had met each other last year after joining Book Art Object.
The project came about after Jack's visit to Central Australia and he felt he'd like to investigate a more sculptural approach in an artwork about Uluru.  We shared similar feelings about respecting the laws and culture of  the Aboriginal people and not climbing Uluru, but as I have not visited Uluru, Jack took responsibility for the content of the book and I played with the structure and binding.
We started out with some general ideas, neither of us pushing our own kind of work too much and seemed to be working with something that was somewhere in the middle and not really representative of our individual work.  We seemed to not be getting very far with it, so we ditched those ideas and started again.  We each produced something individually with a view to seeing if we could combine our strengths and make the piece work.
I produced a couple of different structures with folded pages and Jack produced a couple of different beautiful waxed surfaces made up of drawing, collage and painting.  Please see Jack's blog as more details will be coming about the artwork on the pages and his gorgeous painted paper covers.  The different elements from both of us seemed to fit together easily and the problems we encountered were solved, so we set to work putting the books together and made a small edition. 
 The result is Paper, Scissors, Uluru.   
'Respect our laws and culture.'
The book can be held in the hand and the pages opened out completely

or it can be displayed sculpturally, visually suggesting the glowing and changing colours of Uluru.
I designed a little slipcase for the book to slide into
A very enjoyable experience I hope we may repeat sometime in the future.


dinahmow said...

I'll read Jack's blog shortly. Just wanted to say here that I think your combined ideas and approach have worked.

Fiona Dempster said...

Stunning Helen - I love it! Collaborating can be wonderful and magical; or disappointing and stressful - looks like you have achieved the former beautifully! It's a precious piece.

Elizabeth Banfield said...

This looks beautiful Helen, and such a sensitive piece. Congratulations.

Helen M said...

Thank you for your kind comments Di, Fiona and Elizabeth.

rObfOs said...

Feel very privileged to have had a private viewing in the real world. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story of collaboration. I was, as usual, in awe of your skillful outcomes and enthralled by the story of how it came about. Hope there are more collaborations to come.

susan bowers said...

This collaborative piece works really well Helen - I did mean to drop in and say that a week ago but my week went pear shaped! It is such a wonderful thing to be able to work with another artist, respect their work and yet maintain your own integrity. Seems you have both done just this and the result is marvellous.

Helen M said...

Thanks Robyn and Susan, it has been a most interesting and rewarding experience to work in collaboration with another artist.

Velma Bolyard said...

a fine book you two have made!

Ersi said...

I admire your way of facing a double challenge (the collaboration and the respect to the Uluru) and resolving it so beautifully. Viewing the results is a real luxury.