Myself and Artist Rachel Ramchurn have been discovering the delights of collaborating, although we may both agree the writing of funding bids falls into the ‘not so delightful’ area.
The ‘A Pocketful of Treasures’ event we ran on the Fallowfield Loop, an idea that started with a simple ‘why don’t we………….?
Several months later we had worked with two other artists and four community organisations and film Student Connor Wheelan, who volunteered to make a film documenting the event, which due to his student / work schedules is as finished as it can be. I have decided the film finished or not should be viewed as it stands being part of the Event giving a sense of the day we all had.
This unfinished film represents for me: capturing a moment in time, possibilities of where it could go, and learning taken from organising a large public event. Connor had some initial direction and the freedom to also approach the event how he saw fit, utilizing his strengths and building on any skills he wished too.
This has made me ponder on the wonder of collaborative process, and where it can take you.
I remembered being a teenager one Christmas and my own lack of collaboration whilst putting up the house decorations with my Mum, a very creative person. A yearly event where the house was taken over by brightly coloured lengths of crepe hangings and shiny stuff. My creative nature had outed itself, I had very clear and different ideas of how I should decorate the house, and rather non-collaboratively, I had no time to listen to my Mum’s ideas. Owing to my Mum’s greater wisdom and outstanding tolerance, she backed down (yes it really was two creatives at logger heads) allowing an installation of a coloured crepe spiders web bat cave rule over the Christmas dinner festivities. The ceiling was much closer to the dinner table that year!
My Mum had already fully grasped via raising children, the greater part of the creativity, allowing process of ideas, even if not ones own, the joining in and enjoying the ensuing happening. I clearly was a typical teenage control freak at that age and did not understand what could be gained from collaboration.
Having had my own children I do share putting up the Christmas decorations or just leave them to it, I have loved the lope sided one colour Christmas trees!
I have realised that within the context of a collaborative work, deciding which ‘bits’ are the boundaries and where chance can happen, is a good way forward, giving a structure to evaluate by.
Allowing new ideas, chance happenings, freedom and spontaneity, creates a dynamism, a momentum moving creativity forward, the work being positively process led.
Learning to let go of one’s own perceptions of outcome, (you may not even realise you have them lurking and clinging on inside your mind) gives way to achieving possibilities not imagined or foreseen. A control freak free zone. Exciting times!