Historically, women artists have worked together collaboratively in many ways. This collaboration could take the form of a group show in which a common theme was explored; the co-ordination, selection and hanging of exhibitions; studio space shared by several members; discussion of issues affecting women artists; or a piece of art worked on by two or more artists.
In this collaborative exhibition, JENNIFER SCHULER and PAT WALSH have chosen the latter, and have worked together on each artwork, so as to create a unique body of work that has developed a voice and style of its own.
Over the past 3 years, they have exchanged paintings, with each artist adding to and developing what the other artist had begun. In some cases the paintings were exchanged several times, so that some pieces have the layers of 3 or 4 sessions reﬂected in the work.
Both artists have explored materials extensively within their practices, and, within this project, have chosen to explore and exploit the medium of watercolour.
Their shared interest in this medium lies in its ﬂuid, versatile and expressive qualities, its sensitivity to the artist’s touch, its responsiveness, and also its unforgiving nature.
The project has also provided the artists a forum in which to discuss the issues and challenges facing women artists now, issues that have changed somewhat over the years, but still remain entrenched and intractable in many ways today.
WHY JENNIFER SUGGESTED THIS PROJECT
“I proposed this project to Pat initially as an excuse to get to know her better!” Jennifer states. “We are both teachers at the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal and I was intrigued and inspired by the fact she was one of the founders of the artist-run centre that I had so much respect for: LA CENTRALE GALERIE POWERHOUSE. I thought about what an amazing opportunity it would be to do a project together. One thing I thought about was how feminism united us. While most of my colleagues identify with feminism, I rarely ﬁnd someone who also identiﬁes with feminism as a major part of their practice. I felt that we had a connection with our brief encounters at the Visual Arts Centre, and was curious to see how a collaborative partnership could grow from such a project. I have great, great respect for women of generations before me who have worked and fought so hard in the women’s movements, and to know that I could work with someone from this time was very inspiring and motivating to me.”
THE ARTISTS’ EXPERIENCE
“Working collaboratively is, for me, a way of expanding my approach to making art,” Pat states.
“It forces me to be more ﬂexible and less restrictive in my practice, and to let in concepts and ways of working that I might not otherwise have considered.
This spontaneity and inclusiveness with others that I appreciated so much from my synchronizes extremely well with my approach to days in the early years of POWERHOUSE”. my own work, which tends to be intuitive, Jennifer considers collaboration to be “greatly visceral and also concept-oriented.
Over the course of working on this project I contribution to the piece my own mark is affected have become more aware of my painting style – and will be different from one that I would make the nuts and bolts of paint application, colour on a piece I create solely on my own. It is similar choice, paint mixing and ﬂow. I have grown to working with a found material or object; the tremendously throughout this process. And I had other artist’s involvement in the work inﬂuences missed the challenges and rewards of working my creativity.”
The exhibition will run until May 14.
There will be an art workshop open to all, on April 30.
Enjoy an afternoon with the artists as we discuss the exhibition, the issues that prompted it, and work together on a collaborative community art piece.
NO ART EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!
ALFRED-LANGEVIN CULTURAL HALL – 10 KING, HUNTINGDON FREE ADMISSION – April 23 to 30, 2017 (workshop: April 30, 1 to 3:30 P.M.) SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, 1 TO 4 P.M. (vernissage: April 23, 2 P.M.) WEEKDAYS: WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, 12 TO 4 P.M. or with a reservation 450 264-5411, ext. 226 www.mrchsl.com FACEBOOK: @scalfredlangevin