I had the wonderful opportunity earlier this year (2018) to create new work with my good friend Scott Ross-Molyneux in the Lightbox Studio in the Arts Commons. The goal was simple, we would both bring a new work to the space and then over the course of our two month stay, alter it in response to the other's piece. Scott is a gifted composer and I have never really considered music or sound in my art practice so I was keen to see how I could incorporate his ideas into my own. I began by setting up the space for a variety of outcomes. I had my large printed collage and then many different mark making tools to choose from. The original collage is a combination of two images; the base layer is a Scandinavian lithograph from the 1800's of whales and birds in a fjord, and the torn top layer is an aerial photograph of a farmers field. The field image shows an intricate maze of tracks formed when the farmer drove his tractor collecting rocks in the fallow season. I loved these images for their beautiful linework and the strange references to nautical knots, agriculture, and unusual unplanned markmaking. To add to this I drew into the print with woad pastel and oil pastel, pulling out and enhancing some areas and obscuring others.
Scott's composition was beautiful and strange and also seemed to use unconventional "markmaking" in the form of collected sounds created in different ways on his harp. Some of these include fingers tapping the wooden frame and found objects playing the strings. It felt like a really good fit for my own processes. When he showed me the actual composition he created digitally with computer software, I knew that I had found my entry point. The different lengths of each sound bite formed a unique pattern of dashes. This pattern was a kind of residual from the actual composition much like the tractor pattern was a residual of rock collection. I began sewing lengths of beads onto the paper to match Scott's composition and eventually form a kind of veil of linework over the print. I didn't get the full piece beaded before our time in the space was up, but I have been able to finish it in my home studio.
This was such a great experience for me and I am thrilled I was able to collaborate with someone so talented.