Just finished a great little collaboration with a fellow book artist in Western Australia - Trace Willans.
It was a type of collaboration I had not encountered before and I think it worked out quite well although I have not discussed this in detail with Trace to see how she feels.
Trace prepared and made two, little three page plaster books to which she added some marks, images and collage. She made these deliberately minimal, leaving lots of scope for additional interventions. The pages are of board covered in plaster bandage hinged together with fabric, quite rough and textured.
|original input by Trace|
The problem is just how much do you interact with the work without completely smothering it and loosing the other artist's contribution. I decided to make very minimal changes to the nature and the structure of the book but allow more changes to the imagery. I hope I have done the original "design seeds" justice by letting them develop while still retaining some of their origin.
I think I failed in the middle one by making the changes too strong. Trace can interact with these pages again if she wishes and get a better balance if she thinks this necessary. I wish we weren't so far apart and this process could be repeated more easily and often, till we are both happy that no further change is needed. The final book may not look exactly like this at all.
|detail showing image and surface|
The details shows how the textured surface has been enhanced by the use of wax which has been scratched and etched into. The pages are hinged so that different combinations of pages can be viewed singly or together in pairs or threes.
At this stage Trace has one book and I have kept the other but we might swap after a while to see how they have evolved further. Here are some images of the second book. Unfortunately we don't have any "before" photos of this one.
Collaborations of all sorts seem to involve some level of compromise and sharing of the final work by both participants. If these are equally shared the result can take you to places you never would have gone on your own. This was certainly the case for me in this instance.