For artist Charlotte Alldis, collaboration is woven into creativity.
‘It wasn’t a new concept, but it is an important concept – one that I wanted to celebrate,’ she says of the inspiration behind her experimental art project, ‘Between Painters‘.
During lockdown last year, she was living rurally at an artist residency at Dunmoochin, located 30km away from Melbourne. Removed from her locality, feelings of isolation eventually crept in. But instead of succumbing to loneliness, Charlotte saw it as an opportunity for a collaborative project – ‘bringing artists together’.
‘I reached out to artists, some of them are friends of mine, some of them professional acquaintances, some I have never met but admire their practice,’ Charlotte explains. ‘The brief was that this project is intended to be challenging, a way of finding inspiration and exploring the artists’ practice through disruption and enquiry.’
It turns out she wasn’t the only one longing for a community either, as all 21 creatives she contacted said yes to being involved.
While Charlotte’s original vision was for the pairs to be selected at random, she decided to carefully pair the artists herself, guided by similarities in their themes and processes.
‘I planned out the pairs in what I felt was going to work as best as I could know, but ultimately, it was up to the two artists to collaborate and find ways of connecting and form their own vibe,’ she says.
The collaborative outcomes from these pairs blends subject matters, stories, and concepts in a rich tapestry of colour and form. Charlotte worked with Melbourne-based artist and designer Sonia Gill on a series of dream-like paintings, while Emma Currie and Kayleigh Heydon’s artworks offer a combination of their distinctive art styles. But not all of the pieces are easily distinguishable by an artist’s regular style of work, Charlotte says – which is all part of the fun of the resulting exhibition.
‘There were times when the artists were finding working together challenging due to location, different mediums, different ways of communicating which was all part of the project’s intentions,’ Charlotte adds. But the learning curves and new ideas is something each participant can now take into their own, solo work. And Charlotte even has intentions for a second iteration of the project in the near future too!
‘I hope [the exhibition] leaves the audience feelings inspired and challenged,’ she says. ‘There is a lot of intimacy, imagination, and magic in these works.’
See ‘Between Painters’ at Backwoods Gallery, Collingwood from June 3 – June 19.
25 Easey St