Saturday, August 2, 2014


"chance" an artist book 

You may remember a few months ago I blogged about an inspirational talk by two German artists. As a result, Helen Malone and I have been working collaboratively on a little book of drawings "Chance" which we have just completed. "Chance" was inspired by Ulrike Stoltz and Uta Schneider who work together extensively as USUS. 
Helen and I had already worked together on another artist book last year "Paper,Scissors Uluru" so knew we could work well together.
The drawings were the results of work done together, firstly by responding by drawing to 10 short phrases about chance which we took turns to emailing to each other. Each phrase was related to the previous and all linked to the ideas of chance. We responded to each phrase independently and had no idea what sort of work each other was making until we finished the 10 drawings each. We had decided to make reference in our drawings to the style of early 20th century German art. As we knew we would have more work added to the drawings, we made our drawings open enough to allow additional marks to be made. This took us several weeks but as there was no deadline, we just replied at our own pace as it suited our busy lives. 

We met to review each others work and were amazed and excited at the cohesiveness each little series of drawings had. The next stage was to exchange the booklets and work on each others pages. This was quite a difficult process, as letting go of ones private work with the possibility of it being lost was real. Again, we finished each booklet before meeting again. 

We were delighted with the drawn responses the other artist had made to our initial work. We were prepared to lose some drawings or perhaps need to revisit some for a final resolution but this was not necessary. We both felt that all the drawings were better with our combined efforts and different to what we would have done independently. 

Pencil,ink, gouache, collage and rubber stamps were used in the drawings on the pages of brown Kraft paper. I made a little linocut for the covers of our dos a dos format. 

Needless to say Helen and I are working on our next collaborative project which we  started at the same time as Chance but in a different direction. For more images of our drawings feel free to check out my  microbooks.


Roberta said...

This is lovely Jack! And thank you so much for your lovely gift. I returned from my vacation to find it waiting for me amongst all the bills! What a wonderful surprise and delight. I do love the format and you have now inspired me to do more in that style. So simple and no sewing! Thank you again so much!

Amanda said...

This looks great. Congratulations to you both. Seems to me that collaboration is the next big movement in visual art.

Jack Oudyn said...

Thank you Roberta and Amanda, yes I think collaboration and exchanging ideas and work is an approach that successfully circumvents the gallery system which seems to be lacking in support of artist books.

Helen M said...

You can see I've not been on my computer for days! You've written this up really well Jack and I will also do a blog post as soon as I can.

Jack Oudyn said...

Thanks Helen, looking forward to finishing the next project.

susan bowers said...

I have finally found time to explore my favourite blogs and look what I found .... this little collaborative book is totally delicious Jack. Helen had told me what you were doing but seeing it is quite different - am looking forward to seeing it, and your next, in the flesh one day.

Jack Oudyn said...

Thank you Susan,I too look forward to meeting one day. Your collaborations are inspirational and I hope to see one in the flesh one day.