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Seven with Another – Artist Talks

July 22, 2013

SWA Artist Talk_KT+Robert

Last Tuesday, Seven with Another hosted an evening of Artist Talks in celebration of the Seventh Edition of the exhibition on show at the Brisbane Powerhouse. One of the collaborations from each of the seven editions was invited to share insights into the inspiration, perspiration, challenges and discoveries that went into making their artwork.

Robert Davidson and I were selected to present our collaborative work, Stitched Together on behalf of the Fifth Edition held in 2012.

Robert is a well known musician and composer and I was delighted to be teamed with him for our collaboration. We hadn’t previously met and had only three short months in which to create a work which connected with the theme ‘five’. We walked the audience through our initial meeting, concept and technical discussions, selection of artwork placement at the Powerhouse, sponsorship support and process for making the work.

Our unique approach to the collaboration struck a cord with the Seven With Another founders and was key to the development of our piece. We decided rather than focusing on the theme, we would focus on the amazing opportunity to collaborate across disciplines. Robert hadn’t worked with an artist before and I hadn’t worked with a musician. As we mused during concept development we said to each other “I wonder what music looks like?” and “What do images sound like?” From there our decision to make five ‘call and response’ works was cemented. First, I created an image and Robert responded in music. I took his musical response and made a new image, to which he responded with music, and so on. (Read more about the work here.) This was an exhilarating way to work and, as is my experience with all collaborations and client briefs, I am always surprised with the work I create. Working in this way pushes me in directions I would never have imagined and I really grow through the process.

We talked about the challenges we faced, like working remotely, as Robert was often touring with his band. Also, based on the physical form of the work and my skill base, it was natural I would design and construct the sculptural element in consultation with Robert. It was a really large part of the collaboration. I also told the audience my ‘show must go on’ story of how I managed to ‘slice’ off the top of my left thumb with a Stanley knife when working on the prototype for the sculpture. Luckily I found it and well, ‘stuck’ it back on. After a quick trip to my doctor (who said I’d done a nice job on sticking it back together), my partner kindly stepped in to help while Robert was away. (Oh, and, the tip of my thumb healed seamlessly!)

We would like to thank the Seven With Another co-founders, Monique Kneepkens and Jessica Huddart for making this project/exhibition series happen. So many great ideas are born over late night drinks, but not all of them actually come to life. Many thanks to the rest of the Seven With Another team—Justine, Anna, Julie and Sandra—whose hard work ensures this series continues. And, thank you to the Brisbane Powerhouse for hosting the last three editions and the Artists Talks last week. Finally, a big thank you to all the creatives who have participated in the series so far. Their ideas and work are truly inspiring and I feel honoured to have been included in the fold.

Image by Elisabeth Harvey who documented the Artist Talks. Visit her website to see more of her work.

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