I decided to create a series of giclee A3 prints from my copy of one of the flattened, opened out pages of the art pamphlets/journals/books that Alys Mendus, Tessa Wyatt and I worked on and into whilst we edited chapters of Artful Collaborative Inquiry. As I revisit the images I see themes that have bloomed in recent work and that are still waiting to emerge.
These pamphlet books fitted in a DL envelope We each knew whose was whose and the images that developed spoke to our individual visual passions but there was also an intertwining and layering of images. Once we felt a page was complete and we didn’t want any more interaction we placed a small tick on the page to indicate this to the others. The books were mailed multiple times over the course of a couple of years – it was slow making process. I find on my desktop a folder called slow writing, upon opening it. I find a piece of Alys’ writing I had forgotten she sent me;
Jasmine Ulmer’s slow ontology (2016), asks the question of “how we can find a slower way of scholarly being” (p.201) which resonates with our art journalling.
S l o w
Writing, making, across time and place
S l o w l y
Making, cutting, sticking, thinking and adding to
Named and addressed, each owned but collectively and collaboratively shared and created. A shared tangible piece. We started with thinking about Sue and getting out our art portfolios to find fragments of artwork and memories from our Collaborative Writing retreat at Ammerdown. We smiled, laughed and each took precious silent moments to stop, reflect and be present – with Sue and crows and red dogs and knickers hanging merrily on the line. Once apart we added into our journals, making time. Time to look and feel and smell the journal received in the post. Time to collect art materials and ideas to cut, rip and add onto the paper. Time to feel able to add onto someone else’s art. Sometimes it felt intrusive to cover up, cut into and alter what felt like a finished piece but without someone’s initials on the bottom of the page there was always the invitation to play. Then time to get often a new envelope or make an envelope. More time needed to find time to go to the post office. As I got more heavily pregnant time slowed and small tasks became too much of an effort. So the journal sat quietly on my to do pile waiting to be sent. Then Ginny came along and it was covered in papers and random oddments until I remembered and dusted it off I looked again at our collaboration. I thought of Sue and of Davina and Tess and added in a tiny detail before packing the journals carefully in my backpack for the long flight over to the UK. It was my Mum who got round to posting them on to Tess once I was back in Australia. I had left them, now in a new to do pile, on an old wooden chest that sits by my parent’s front door often housing many things waiting for their next home. Slowness in the journeys of these journals. They inhabit many places, silently holding onto the stories of place and time.