Believe it or not, I’m a bit of a rebel. The art industry is so focussed on the individual talent of one person, whereas the music industry has it’s “stars” who collaborate with many others to produce their art.
I love to collaborate in my art with others. I’ve done portraits from beautiful photos that my boss Steve Bell brought back from India and Ethiopia. I’ve done portraits of Malcolm Guite from photos taken by a lady I’ve never met in person, Lancia E. Smith. I painted 32 paintings for a book The Biggest Family in the World, collaborating with author Paul Boge. He and I planned every page, and then he went to Africa to take hundreds of photos of the children posing to our specifications, so I would have genuine reference to work from.
And now, Malcolm Guite asked me to collaborate with him on a new art and poetry book, SEVEN WHOLE DAYS. What an honour to work together and combine the gifts of poet and artist from two different positions across the ocean!
Malcolm and I were recently interviewed by Colleen Houde of CHVN radio in Winnipeg. She captured a beautiful quote from Malcolm: “I think an artistic collaboration like this, where you’ve got two people working in two different media, working together to produce something which is bigger than both of them, is a real way forward for us. I think a lot of contemporary artists get stuck into a rut where it is all about the sort of lonely genius somewhere, in their one strange particular way of seeing this. And artists become, if you like, in a sense, very elite, privatized and individualized. But actually, I think that the best art, like so much of the best other human life and activity, happens when we collaborate and cooperate with each other and learn from each other, and let the ego go a bit and let others interpret with us. I think artistic collaboration is a really refreshing way forward, more generally in the arts.”
My previous art book, ART begets ART chronicles my art from it’s beginning and describes the miraculous relationships I’ve been building over the last 10 years. I’ve been an artist all of my life, but only discovered late in life what I was truly meant to do. However, all of the circumstances throughout my life have led up to this, as I can clearly see, now looking back. It’s truly amazing and humbling. God has been guiding me each step, and I am grateful to Him.
If you are in the Winnipeg area, I hope you can join me at my new art showing, March 16 – May 5, 2018 at the MHC Gallery, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd.
The opening is Fri. March 16 at 7 pm, and there will be a special event with Malcolm Guite attending, Sun. April 15 at 7 pm. He will recite poetry and be available to sign the books.