As we both began to find a rhythm to the way of working together efficiently in Kala printmaking studio, prints began to emerge. Each of us seemed tentative initially, to make the first move. It was like we were creatively dancing around one another, too nervous or shy to take the lead. Over the course of the first 2 weeks into the collaboration, neither one of us seemed to be confident about what we wanted or were trying to say. Late nights in the studio and long days of what appeared to be progress then ended with feelings of failure grew ever more present. It became obvious that we were trying very hard at attempting to please one another with what we created. Neither of us seemed to be truly reflecting what we intended to in the early prints we made. Perhaps we were so afraid of the collaborative process not working, we were trying too hard to satisfy the aesthetic of the other. We finally managed to acknowledge this, in a bout of frustration over what I felt was another failed print idea I had created.
The tension was immediately released when we discussed what we thought was happening in the collaboration. We decided to establish a more structured framework to work within. New ‘rules’ for the collaboration were this:
Each artist will produce 10 x sets of prints in an edition of 8 over the course of the 4 weeks, inspired by the words and phrases generated in the first week of the residency, using any printmaking medium appropriate.
Then in the final 2 weeks of the residency, each artist will exchange their 10 x sets of prints with the other artist, to allow the other to respond in print. This print dialogue will end with all 20 x sets of prints, with each artists’ response complete. We will then choose 16 sets of prints from the 20 created to form the conversation in print between us.
Since making the framework clear about how we were going to now work, we each breathed a sigh of relief at being able to go on and create 10 sets of prints each freely, as a kind of ‘monologue’, that would eventually be edited down to 8 each on competition of the dialogue. Guillaume got to work silk screen printing cut-outs he’d created and I experimented with water based Japanese ‘suminogashi’ paper marbling techniques.