To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Artworks, the longest existing artist-run studio and gallery space in Cambridge, we’re hosting a fortnight of art activity focusing on collaboration in art.
An exhibition about collaboration
October 24th – November 1st 2015
In an exploration of connections and equivalencies, Correspondence brings together past and present Cambridge Artworks’ artists to forge new partnerships and create new work in a celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the co-operative. Some correspondents identified communal preoccupations – possessions and objects, for instance, inspiring new artwork. Others explored communal processes, even between seemingly different media and disparate practices. At times the artists met through artworks already created while others collaborated on entirely new projects.
All correspondents met with openness to creative possibility. On a couple of occasions, communication itself was hampered. Undaunted, the correspondents embraced this and created work acknowledging this difficulty. Ultimately this was a project about ‘not knowing’ but finding new ways to collaborate – an honouring of the art-making space that Cambridge Artworks offers as an artist-run co-operative. The etymological origin of ‘correspondence’ is correspondentia in Medieval Latin. It combines the words for ‘together’, ‘again’ and ‘to pledge’. For twenty years, correspondence has been the very essence of Cambridge Artworks – an invaluable site of collaboration, renewal, commitment and art-making.
Cambridge Artworks was the brainchild of artist Jenny Eadon, who brought together a group of artists to set up an artists’ studio co-operative. They secured funding to convert former offices in Negus Yard into a collection of artist studios, and Cambridge Artworks Ltd. was constituted in September 1994. Their mission statement remains: ‘to provide visual artists with affordable studio space and to act as a resource within the local community’. When the original site was re-developed in 2000, the artists relocated to the current site in Green’s Road where they converted a cabinet maker’s workshop into the studios we see today.
Cambridge Artworks has much to celebrate; with seventeen resident artists, the studios have always offered a lively and stimulating co-operative environment. Many artists have contributed to the successful running of the organisation over the years, ensuring it continues to provide affordable studio space, inspiring exhibitions, workshops, and creative events for the local community. Today’s resident artists recognise the enormous debt of gratitude owed to former artist members and are grateful for this opportunity to honour and remember their contribution.
Marit Ammerud & Adam Larkum
Which came first – the form of ceramics or the decorative
illustration? With Cycles Marit Ammerud and Adam Larkum
meet each other’s practices in a playful response to the joy and movement of Cambridge’s favourite mode of transport.
Georgina Amos & Jan Ayton
In the ancient world, a letter could take the form of a variety of materials, from pottery fragments to animal skin. Today this materiality seems miraculously invisible and also immediate through technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones. Letters has no specification as to the material used, only the method of exchange. The work takes form through silence, stretched and shaped through time. Instead of the traditional approach, where art is made for an audience, the ‘letter’ is created for an individual, giving the quality of an intimate conversation.
Portugal in Paint
Jenny Eadon & Jill Ogilvy
Jenny Eadon and Jill Ogilvy met at Cambridge Artworks fifteen years ago and found they shared two passions; painting and travelling. On a recent trip to Salema in the Algarve, the artists spent time walking and exploring the landscape together. Eadon’s paintings were made in response to a long hazardous walk taken every evening over the cliffs down to a rocky slab suspended over the sea. Ogilvy’s work is in response to the strongly scented spring wildflowers and grassland plants of the area, evoking the senses.
Slapeloos / Sleepless
Bettina Furnée & Susan Mealing
Susan Mealing once lived abroad in The Hague, where Bettina Furnée grew up. Both discovered they have in their possession an old Dutch pillowcase of sentimental value. Furnée still uses her mother tongue when counting; Mealing makes alphabetical lists when sleepless. They each embroidered their personal reality on the pillowcase. These were then placed with a sheet of paper between the blanket and the bed of the printing press, to produce a blind embossed print.
Siân Griffiths & Lizzy McCaughan
What if is a working out, in two dimensions, of the artists’ mutual fascination with three-dimensional vessel form. By treating the negative spaces equally with the positive, and by allowing the emerging lines and rhythms, edges and volumes to relate across the picture space, they also explore the equivalents and disparities in their individual painting processes and practices.
‘Around seven years ago I visited Cambridge Artworks and met Niina Kuosmanen. Her porcelain blocks were simple, yet really beautiful. I searched for Niina when looking for a partner to correspond with but I couldn’t find her. What I found was a simple, yet beautiful website which said, Sorry currently not available, back soon. I determined to check again later. I’ve been back a number of times but now it just says Hmm…. that page doesn’t seem to exist. This work is in response to looking for Niina.’
Fragments of Time
Helen Kenny & Sue Law
Fragments of Time explores the transient details of artists’ workspaces – the layers of ideas and of materials collected over time. The finished work is site specific, coming together in the space that inspired it.
Home and Return: Autotopography No. 1
Idit Nathan & Caroline Wendling
Made from images gathered as Nathan and Wendling travelled to and fro between their childhood homes beyond the North Sea, Home and Return ponders how the artist’s gaze is drawn to certain subjects and invites viewers to participate and curate their own selection.
Sara Paynter & Sarah Wood
To create an object in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background. It is a trick – part material, part optical. Sara Paynter is a potter and Sarah Wood is a filmmaker. They’re meeting in the space between their usual practices, playing with earlier English traditions – the silhouette as a form of portraiture before photography, reversed in Wedgewood’s black basalt ware using the sprig-molded technique – to make new meanings.
Diametral Planes 1 & 2
Jane Pryor & Rachel Wooller
Rachel Wooller’s concrete sculptures form attachments to the work of her collaborator, Jane Pryor, whose diffuse and intangible geometrical paintings hold a curious relation to the physical reality of Wooller’s sculptures.