Concertina Collaboration

One of our creative projects this year is a concertina collaboration.

Pairs of artists are making concertina books together.

These books are developing over time – often being posted back and forth between collaborators over several months, with each artist responding to their partner’s work at each stage, to build up layers and layers of marks which ultimately create a rich and exciting collaborative work of art – which bears no resemblance to the first tentative marks on blank paper!

This process is hugely creative and exploratory. It involves trust between creative partners and the ability to let go of any preconceived notion about what the ‘end product’ might look like, as well as any preciousness about ones own work. Artists have to be prepared for their partner to paint over, cover up, cut out, add to or remove something they have made. All this process, and the passage of time, adds to the richness of the final images.

We have books made of paper, textiles and even MDF. Many books involve mixed processes and are made by artists with very different styles and ways of working. Everyone has said how much they are enjoying the process and how valuable it is in terms of extending their practice.

You can read blog posts by two of our collaborating artists on the process and experience:

Some of the books were recently exhibited at our Driven to Abstraction exhibition in Truro where they received a lot of positive attention.