In 2015, artists Broose Dickinson, Dragomir Mišina, Ben Hughes and Malcolm Ashman worked on a collaborative project, Painting Exchange.
Each artist began a 90cm x 90cm square canvas. At the end of the first week each painting was passed on to the next artist on the list.
By the end of one month each artist had worked on every canvas.
Broose Dickinson, Dragomir Mišina, Ben Hughes and Malcolm Ashman have worked on a new Painting Exchange project, again with exciting results. The only difference from the 2015 collaboration is that each painting circulated 5 times, so that each artist would begin and finish the same work.
“In the beginning, my intention was to think of the process in musical terms… similar in the way that a group of musicians might compose or perform a song. I went into the project without preconceptions or expectations, yet, once the process began, I found the week to week exchange had forced me to consider my painting process in ways that I hadn't before… knowing that what I had just painted was going to be manipulated, or even painted over completely, changed my approach. As a result, I chose to leave parts of the painting deliberately unfinished, yet I still had to make sure that the painting was compositionally acceptable to my taste before passing it on. Overall, I found the project very rewarding, and hope to investigate the process further.”
“The first stage of this project required a solid starting point. Also the painting had to be left open enough for the rest of the artists, but challenging at the same time. Next stages where about response, respect, restrain, measured approach and assertiveness with very little room for chance.”
“Painting over other artists' work,
(artists painting over my work),
using unfamiliar media
on unfamiliar grounds
to a tight deadline...
By all accounts it should have been a disaster (and maybe I still class some of my efforts as such), but overall the project was exciting and creative, enabling me to try new things and see my own work in a different light.”
“Being in complete control is a hard position to give up but my curiosity about what might happen was the greater force. Starting the first painting I was very much aware of the presence of others. I began with something that was mine but with the thought that room must be made for different perspectives. I trusted they would be respectful as would I.
There was a strong feeling of creative freedom attached to each new painting that came to me. I learnt a lot and would do it again”