Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Collaborative projects

Having just installed my parachute installation as part of my response to the Battle of Britain lace panel I attended the Craft and text conference on Monday. It was a very interesting day with some great presentations but the one that interested me most was by Lynn Setterington on her project ‘Sew near – Sew far’ which she carried out in collaboration with Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. She engaged with various local groups, inviting participants to embroider their own names on fabric, which was then joined into long lengths, and used to write the pseudonyms of the three Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, outdoors on the Yorkshire moors. These huge signatures, imprinted on the landscape, released the Bronte sisters from the museum and reunited them with the moors that inspired them. My parachutes were also made in collaboration with a museum in my case, Bentley Priory Museum, the headquarters of fighter command during World War II. Listening to Lynn’s talk, I was struck by how members of the public become involved in these projects and how it brings people together, often from different walks of life. It’s also interesting for the artist to engage with the public in such a close way and an honour that people will give up their time to help produce a collaborative work. It is also a technical challenge to develop a task that is adaptable for different levels of abilities, so that everyone can take part whatever skills they have. Collaborative projects benefit the artist and the participants and working together in that way seems to lead to a greater understanding of art and art projects in the public consciousness.  

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