A partnership between a-n and Firstsite in Colchester is helping artists hone their collaborative working techniques by sharing artists’ experiences of processes and impacts.

Collaborate creatively is a half-day seminar within a-n’s www.a-n.co.uk/granted/ programme, led by Chris Fremantle. Focusing on the characteristics of collaboration, it reflects ongoing research by Fremantle – his Reflections on collaboration, commissioned by a-n, provided an analysis of the principles and approaches that underpin good collaborative relationships amongst artists, drawing on a-n’s archive of case studies.

The Collaborate creatively format was successfully piloted at last year’s WEYA festival. Artists who will be presenting at the Firstsite event on 26 June include Lawrence Bradby (whose collaboration with AnnaTownley was featured in a-n Magazine), Jevan Watkins-Jones, and Lyndall Phelps, now completing a nine-month residency with particle physicist Ben Still within Superposition, part of the Institute of Physics’ Supercollider initiative.

Reporting on her first project meeting last autumn, Phelps said: “I was very excited by the unknown but also a little nervous. Could my non-scientific brain get to grips, even a little bit, with particle physics? I needn’t have worried, Ben’s enthusiasm and passion for his subject shone through and I was hooked straight away! He introduced me to particle detectors; the physical locations where experiments and research occur.”

As Fremantle has observed in his research: “Conceptually and literally, collaboration reframes power relationships. When talking about individuals, collaboration implies shared aims and objectives: win-win, equality. Collaboration in a work of art (as opposed to between individuals) is perhaps less clear about win-win or equality, and may be more about willingness to be involved in making or revealing something.”

Alongside inspiring presentations from the artists, the Collaborate creatively seminar includes a hands-on workshop that highlights contexts for innovation and provides good practice guidance.

Collaborate creatively, Wednesday 26 June at Firstsite, Colchester, 10am-1pm. To book a last-minute place or to host a Collaborate creatively seminar on your patch, contact [email protected].

More on www.a-n.co.uk:

www.a-n.co.uk/granted/ – professional development for artists and arts organisers with an established practice

Collaborative relationships index – over 30 case studies encompassing and exposing a range of arts and interdisciplinary contexts