Between us we are a writer, musician, visual artist, textile artist and a maker. We also have a dancer in the wings but she's been unable, so far to make our days... fingers crossed she'll join us at some point. We try to meet once a month.
The first day we spent out at mine, walking and talking and writing then cutting up what we had written to make concertinas and see what happened to our linear thoughts. We talked a lot about the weight of words, their meaning, how to disrupt our fears and open up new avenues of thought, confidence and approaches to language. People generally found the cutting up process very liberating. It relinquished their ownership of the writing, it presented new ways of expression and it lessened the pressure to ‘make good work’.
A bonus: a week or so after the day a poem popped out of me and then it fell into a long concertina. I love it how it is very different from anything I would normally write.
Last week was our second day together and this one was hosted by the maker. She just happened to have a room that was about to be replastered so had covered it in brown parcel paper for us to use as a boxed canvas. Everyone was asked to bring their usual materials, including instruments from the musician. As she wanted to explore the overlay between sound and visuals...
We talked about fear and shame of mark making and how we counter that, we talked of detail and meaning, of purpose and points, and made everything up as we went along so we ended up with a sheet of paper with bits set on. Even this (below) went through several edits as we discussed our decision making - movement, aesthetic, space, repetition, symbolism, until we arrived with something we could all look at and find pleasing. And this is what we decided we would use as the narrative to generate a new piece of work - for me a poem, for another a book, for another a piece of music, and ... well, I'll find out what else.
Working, and perhaps more pertinently playing, with artists from other disciplines is so rewarding. It's not just about what can be made together, it helps me articulate more clearly my own practice, makes me more aware of how I work. It extends my language.