Finding an inner Space
It seems timely to write, to reflect on a collaboration between three artists: Eleanor Gates-Stuart, Jean Cherry, and Jenny Wolmark – mothers, friends, educators, all with a link to Kingston-Upon-Hull (UK), at a time with similar interests and equally with distinctive career pathways of our own. The idea to collaborate was born out of the conversations we had and to make work together. Simple really as we had so many things to share and a skill base of creative practice: arts, design theory, writing, music, acting, printmaking, ceramics, media technology and public speaking. In fact, our diversity shaped our collaborative partnership. We decide our identities to be rolled into one, gatescherrywolmark (gsw) and to be known as a singular entity, meaning that our contributions were regarded as a singular author. The rules of authorship attributed to the collective, gcw, and this would be the premise of how we would go forward and develop our idea(s). This was not an easy undertaking as we deconstructed our sense of being ourselves, our identity, personal history, cultural links, independence and anomalies of personality in defining our new space.
We stated: “As words and images engage in a pointless struggle for control over meaning, the sensory input from both appears to be on an endless collision course, the result of which is an increasing garbled rendition of communication”, these words also became image and the experimentation and analyse of our discourse and creativity became the art itself, a visible process, the act of thinking and making something without necessary completeness – the intangible, unstable, scattered, … That said, it was of its time, immersive, intellectual, challenging and playful. If we are to think of it as a time capsule opened twenty years on, the greeting is in a way astonishing and the work is timeless. Yes – words and image hold no age, timeless as objects and thoughts are holding their status, their shifts of meaning transformed with the profound porousness of late assimilated with present.
I am drawn back to this experience, the gcw collaboration. Is it that we are twenty years on from working together? A new set of milestones? A different mindset? Trying to keep it in memory, feeling reminiscent and keen to know how we all are. Yes, those milestones do prompt flashbacks and revisit of time passed. Truth be told, a yearning to complete the collaboration, awaken its hibernation and, yes in contradiction of our earlier quest of unfinishedness, is it too late?
Special acknowledgement to Jenny – will miss you always – gatescherrywolmark