Free Pass Day (a response to the demiversary post)

How did it all begin…? Well, I mainly agree with Samantha’s summary of Free Pass Day. We actually began writing in the little book as soon as we stopped for noodles in Chinatown. I’m sitting here flicking through the book now (one Sam made in a craft class when she was little, I think, and which I’d rescued from her throwing out the day before) and it brings back very fond memories. The memories are fond not only because it was a spectacular day full of laughter, but also because of what came out of it; a commitment to working together in a formal collaboration. One of the things that draws us together artistically is a shared love of unpicking the details, of charting process and being willing and open to changing our plans and outlook. We’re both confidant about our artistic vision and used to working independently, so I expected the collaboration to involve a lot of (constructive) clashing and learning to compromise. To my surprise, the process has actually challenged my individual practise far more than I had expected, and our artistic vision seems to have naturally blended rather than been a site of compromise. I haven’t noticed much clashing either.

In response to Samantha’s questions… I definitely feel that the order of the triptych strongly impacts on the way I approach the three photos: it gives a sense of narrative authority to me that it hasn’t felt necessary to challenge. I’ve worked with each set as separately from the other as possible, rather than considering them as an overall whole. If we do an editing session at the end of the project then I might edit according to the light groupings. If I get any say in it… can we keep the colour rather than going black and white? I like the lusciousness of the colours.

The hardest part has also produced the best part for me in some ways. I find it counter-intuitive to not be able to talk through the photos, though a part of me recognises that I have a lot more artistic freedom by writing from them ‘blind’ rather than in consultation. I get so much joy when I finally post the story up and I’m ‘allowed’ to come and read what you’ve written about them. I really wish I could be there in person to see the photoshoots. The hardest part is probably that- I’d love to be there for the shoots. The best bit is the sense of achievement, seeing our work up together and picking through the minutae of it through blogging and on the phone.

Which leads to the next question: time and money. For our next project I’d love to have some time bought out to spend on the collaboration, rather than having to scrabble in-between jobs. We’ve talked through applying for various programmes which would bring us together in person to do some work, and that would be fabulous. I’m very excited that we have an interview at the end of the month for the next project we’ve discussed (working title: Coming Attractions), and that might give us a condensed timeframe and some financial help to achieving that. Fingers crossed…

Happy demiversary to us, Happy New Year to us, and may all our collaborations include as much joy and laughter as Free Pass Day.