Collaboration

My friends Dorise Ford and Sharon Nickodem and myself have been tossing around the idea of collaborating on an art project for some time. Inspired by the surrealists re-invention of an old Victorian parlor game known as “exquisite corpse” we decided to begin. We spent almost a year creating these collaborative art pieces in this gallery. Each of us contributed to one third of the individual piece. The process was inspirational, challenging and fun – it certainly got me out of my comfort zone.

Exquisite corpse is a method by which an image is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to the composition in sequence. The collection or collaboration begins when a player draws on a sheet of paper, folds to conceal what they have drawn, and gives it to the next player to complete their portion. Exquisite corpse was adapted so that parts of the body are drawn or collaged. We didn’t hide the previous collaborator’s work; we weren’t focused on chance as the earlier surrealists were.

Working with other artists on the same project has its rewards and frustrations. For a successful collaboration project, good planning and a creative idea are key. The fundamental steps are identifying the collaborators and the theme, defining the plan (guidelines, due dates), communications, challenging one’s self and having fun. Good communication among the participants is integral to the success of collaboration.

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