Hello to everyone we met at Fabrica on Thursday at the AIR Open Dialogue event. It was a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people and to put faces to names of people who we felt we already knew through visits to their web-sites or blogs.

Roz and I, along with Elpida Hadzi Vasileva and Rosemary Shirley had been invited to talk about key issues for our future practice – a subject which has been consistently used at AIR events to open the dialogue between artists.

We took along Roz’s three legged stool which Roz used to explain how she visualises our collaboration. She talked about the “wobbliness” of being an artist and the need to operate at the edge of stability, and how she sees the collaborative relationship as providing a third leg which might provide steadiness at the edge. She went on to expand on this notion, saying that if we two collaborators are then viewed each as three legged stools, between us we have a grand total of not just four legs, but six legs on which we could cover a lot of ground. It all conjures up a slightly comical image, but describes how we hope the relationship will work for us.

My issues, as an artist still in the early “feeling my way” stages of my career, revolve firstly around “support”; how to build a support network through which I can get appropriate advice for all the different aspects of my practice – professional, creative and developmental, and then, secondly, how to maintain a balance between the development of all those separate areas of my practice while still retaining the integrity of my work as well as generating income to support my practice.

Roz focused on the immediate issues concerning our new collaboration. How will the collaborative process work for us? Will there still be time and space for us to maintain our individual work? How will we work together? What if our strengths and weaknesses are the same? Will we become too stable, too steady and lose the excitement of "the edge"? What will we gain from the collaboration, and what will we have to give up? These were some of many questions raised.

Elpida and Rosemary, artists at different stages of their careers, raised other issues, and a foundation was laid for an evening of very interesting and informative discussion where a whole range of subjects were covered.

One thing which came up almost incidentally was that several people expressed slight frustration at not being able to add a comment to the a-n blog, so for the time being, if anyone wants to communicate with us about our blog, we would love to hear from you via the e-mail addresses which can be found on our web-sites at http://judithalder-live.co.uk/contact.html or http://www.roz2.co.uk/contact.html


We have been awarded a NAN New Collaboration bursary to support the development of Breaking Ground, our project in 2 parts. Judith and I raised a glass to this success on Monday night and are planning our next steps. We have a busy week of art events, AIR Open Dialogue on Thursday night and then my Henweekend 3 day seminar starts on Friday. We finalise our joint presentation tomorrow afternoon and then it is full steam ahead for Part 1 Writing articles about each other’s practice. High excitement.
We have chosen this sketchbook image by Judith as appropriate to the unfolding of the collaborative experiment.


It’s almost exactly a month since we posted our first blog entry and so far we’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking about the whole idea of “collaboration” – what we might gain through it, as well as what we might have to give up for it. However, we’ve also been spending a lot of our time working towards commitments within our individual practices.

This week sees a sort of tying up of loose ends, culminating at the end of the week with our talk at the AIR event at Fabrica on Thursday, and Roz’s almost immediate departure after that to take part in the "Hen Weekend" at the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill from Friday to Sunday this weekend. (http://henweekend.org)

After a short (?) recovery period, Roz and I will be meeting up next week to plan a timetable for the first part of our project. We will be setting aside time to make presentations about our work to each other and will then individually write articles about each other’s practice which we will publish here through our blog. We anticipate that this activity will have all sorts of benefits for us, both through the process of analysing and articulating another artists’ practice, but also gaining an insight into our own work through someone else’s subjective view.


Arrived home from the studio to a lovely surprise: a parcel from my friend Val Murrary – a copy of Low Tide – Writings on Artists’ Collaborations written by Jeni Walwin. Last week Val and I met in London to see some exhibitions and each other. I talked to her about this new collaboration with Judith.

Val is part of TEA, a collaborative group of artists who have worked together since 1987. She was full of praise for the benefits and pleasures of collaborative practice. Low Tide includes a chapter on TEA. Although published in 1997, this book offers much of interest to a pair of new collaborators.

In the Foreword, Paula Brown speaks of the collaborative art documented: “This is cunningly mercurial work where art forms merge or collide or metamorphose into something else altogether; where artists experiment with new partners, practices and identities. This is work which offers spectators new ways not just of seeing but of participating.”