We planned to start our collaboration by exploring the metaphorical space of the garden. Its meaning and its materials. Not defining the outcome, meandering, letting the garden take us to unexpected places.
We want to see what, if anything takes root in the spaces between our individual practices.
We started with writing, using words as material, and we each wrote a prose poem. This felt like a useful and fruitful start. We collected plant material from the local churchyard. We cast small plaster molds. Setting some of the seed heads we had collected into the wet plaster.
We made drawings whilst listening to music, The Garden by Einsturzende Neubauten and Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday. Not surprisingly these were not colourful.
We went into the ceramics workshop and used clay, with Arabel throwing pots for the first time. I made flowers like the ceramic wreaths I had seen in the cemetery.
At the end of the first week we started putting all the things we had made together, placing them into arrangements of objects and materials and photographing the results.
After a week of making, of fairly intensive living and working in the same space we had generated a lot of stuff. But nothing was resolved. We have both enjoyed engaging with materials and the new opportunities they suggest. We both found being back in an Art School environment really stimulating and productive. It is like being back on a foundation course.
We had thought that we could make our collaboration more real by giving it a name, but one of our first realisations was that we needed to keep our individual identities. So goodbye ‘Magpie Projects’.
Our first week at Summer Lodge was over.