The image of home is a powerful, archetypal symbol for finding our truest self, or soul. We all have this profound longing to find home, a place of deep belonging. To come home is to find a place where you can truely be yourself and to be home is to have a refuge from all the outward expectations and be in a place where you can listen to your own heart. When we are in touch with our our inner selves home can be wherever we are at that time.
The 100 Houses Project that I am working on is a long-term project that began with the question “What is home?”. The idea for this project started with a profound dream I had when my family and I were leaving a home that we had lived in for ten years. This was a place where I had given birth to both of my children and where my husband and I grew from being a couple to becoming a family. Unfortunatly, it wasn’t economically viable for us to stay so we chose to leave because my husband got a steady job up north. I had packed all of our belongings into a moving van and we had our last sleep in our empty house. That night I had a dream that I was living in a house on a bridge. I thought the dream was such a profound visual metaphor for what I was experiencing in that moment because I was no longer staying in this home but I wasn’t at my new place either. I was in that in-between place. This got me thinking of the home as symbol for the soul and how the only steadiness we have is our inner strength. In The 100 Houses Project I use the symbol of the house as a way of expressing the steadyiness of our inner homes or selves as we head out on our life’s journey.
My plan for The 100 Houses Project is to create 100 different lino-cuts of houses in a unique setting or circumstance. Each house has an edition of only twenty.
This is a small sample of the houses I’ve created so far and all of my houses are on my etsy site.
As an artist I am often asked to collaborate on different creative projects with other artists, poets or musicians but how does a person gage whether a collaboration is working?
Here is a list of questions and answers that can help you to decide if your collaboration is working well.
Is there trust?
Trust is a key element in a healthy partnership. It is not built on words but through actions and evidence. When there is trust partners are more able to address issues as they arise in a respectful way.
Is there consensus?
In any partnership or collaboration conflict is to be expected. Conflict is different than a fight as fights tend to be personal and emotional. In a healthy partnership conflict is dealt with by discussing differences and then coming to a mutual consensus that is beneficial to the people involved and the project you are working on.
Are you and your partner able to embrace change?
One thing you can count on is change. When changes need to happen it is important to be clear with your communication so as to help your partner understand why the change is necessary.
Are you self aware?
It is really important to be clear on what you want and need from your partner. Also it is essential to understand that how we see ourselves may be different than how others perceive us.
Is there structure?
Without structure things go into chaos. Having the right amount of structure is important but try not to have so much as to stifle innovation.
Are decisions being made?
It helps to delegate different roles depending on the variety of strengths and skills each person bring to a partnership. Some decisions are independent and some our collaborative but a decision is better than no decision. One of the most important decisions is picking a collaborator that you can trust and respect who also has respect for you.
Is there recognition?
Recognition validates people’s creativity, strengths and inspires both partners to do there best work.
Is there open communication?
Continuous communication bonds people together and brings clarity to the group project.
Are you learning something?
We all want to learn and grow and the best learning comes from having experiences. We even learn something by not having a good collaboration. It is valuable to continue to collaborate with other artists etc. as you can create amazing projects that you wouldn’t have been able to do alone.
I hope this is a helpful guide when collaborating with other creative folks and I encourage you to find people you can work with to create wonderful and imaginative joint projects!
The show is all about the adventures of two women exploring the world of abstract expressionism.
I am part of an exhibition called Voice at Two Rivers Gallery at the end of January. Voice is a group exhibit where many talented artists will be featured. Bill Horne, a BC artist from Wells, will also be exhibiting a retrospective of his assemblages that he has created over the years. The opening is at 7:30 on January 28th. Hope to see you there!