Artists in Arms (Across the Ocean)

I just got back from Wales, and was lucky enough to make a dream come true! Niki and I have been talking about doing a collaboration for years, and we finally started it.

Niki Cotton and I met when we were 11 years old in school, went to college together, so then Art foundation course in Bangor. We did our Degrees at opposite ends of the country.

Our shared artistic lineage isn’t immediately obvious, I imagine..but to us, we’re perfectly aligned. This is the first time I’ve collaborated on a painting, and to be honest I was a little nervous. I work in isolation and silence (apart from the Depeche Mode). I wondered whether my hyperfocused working practice and ego might interfere. Niki had already hung the paper on the wall, and as she was making the tea, I started smoothing the paper with my hands and before I knew it I was drawing ellipses with charcoal. I stood back and she started to paint.

Memories of student days, our talks, walks, shared love of nature and artists we’ve studied all spilled onto the paper without effort or plan. What resulted was a fluid synergy, oscillating between form and abstraction.

Part One of Three: Eon (2018)
Mixed Media on Paper

Now that I’m back in the US, we’ll be mailing work back and forth to each other to continue the collaboration from a distance. Who knows what will become of the work? Watch this space…


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