The collaborative works of Cecilia Orr and Julian Maher (NZ 2008)
Prologue was the first work the two created jointly and basically it brought their two mediums, copper and paint, into one image. The process could be likened to a conversation where the challenge was to speak with the same visual sentiment. “Prologue is a romantic epic vista, maybe in that we share a common vision.” Julian
In this work Cecilia initiated the process by creating a heavily textured and patinated piece in copper. After much thought and discussion, the two artists agreed the direction before Julian responded by creating the landscape in paint and charcoal on board. It took several attempts to create a piece the two agreed conveyed the spirit of the original intent of the work.
White Alchemist, Luck Dragon, Self Portrait, Codex of Capitulation and Cascade all began with Julian creating works on board using a combination of paint, shellac and charcoal. It was only after these were completed that Cecilia added a further element (brass or steel) to the works to complete the collaboration.
At Cecilia’s suggestion, Julian completed the next two works, Steel Structures and Black Alchemist on oxidized galvanized iron. “In ‘Black Alchemist’, I watched Julian paint with bold strokes. When nearing the end, she stood back for a moment and commented ‘it’s not finished’ before, with one stroke of the brush, she created the perfect ending to the work” Cecilia Orr
The next two works were something completely new for both Julian and Cecilia. Corporeal proved to be an adventure from beginning to end. Taking trips to scrap yards, they discovered the pieces that made up this work. With immediate combined recognition, and much excitement, they began assembling the pieces at the steel yard. Back in the studio the final composition was hotly debated as they conceptually argued the works arrangement.
Two Planes began when the two artists found this perfect rusted square. They both immediately recognized the intent of the work they would create, and the need for a second piece to complete it. There was however much discussion over the medium that should be used to accomplish this. The two finally agreed on a symmetrical piece of hot rolled steel which picked up reflections adding depth and movement to the work.
Other Collaborations involving Mark Love (furniture maker), Chris Cander (writer) & Jim Miller (welder)
These works introduce the work of three new artists and provide a link to Fe29’s second collaborative project, scheduled for August 2012.
Peace like a River began when Mark Love was given a heavily textured work in copper and paint that had been completed earlier, inviting him to ‘have fun’ with it. This was Mark’s first ‘artwork’ and first collaboration, and he was reluctant to begin something on his own. With assistance from Fe29 during the design process, Mark gained more confidence as the work progressed. The end result is a stunning work, with competently executed three dimensional wooden elements that create wonderful shadows and add significantly to the work.
Transcendence is a free standing sculpture. The corrugations in the copper were created not only to provide texture but to form the shape of the tribal female figure the copper artist had envisaged. Additional elements of Oak, steel, copper cable and driftwood were added to the work, and a poem by Chris Cander, stamped in a spiral around the Oak base, completed it. When the work was finally installed as intended, the shadows created were exactly as the artist had envisaged when she created the work on the copper years earlier.
“When asked to become a part of the collaborative experience at Fe29, I was thrilled. So much about writing is solitary. By contributing my ideas to projects that were being created by a group of artists from different fields, it felt like I was being lifted from the remote back country of my imagination and deposited into a brightly lit room.” Chris Cander
“I’m collaborating on a piece with a metal artist right now, and later I will be collaborating with a poet. This makes me very excited, but also nervous because I fear doing art this way. I fear leading with my heart, and I fear what I will find when I stand back and look at it”. Mark Love