Habitat: A Collaborative Series
Exhibited at Orinda Books • June 2015
collaboration |kəˌlabəˈrāSHən| (noun)
the action of working with someone to produce or create something
habitat |ˈhabiˌtat| (noun)
the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism:
In January of 2015, Cindy Baker, Kath Balamuth, Jules Campbell and Pam Jameson said “Let’s Collaborate!” These artist-friends joined together to create a series of mixed media works. After much discussion, they settled on the theme of Habitat. This theme sparked their creativity and allowed them to express a broad range of genres using their individual styles to generate mixed media urban, rural and suburban abstractions and landscapes.
Each artist started with three 16×16” panels and began a painting or collage which expressed their thoughts, feelings, and views of “habitat.” Meeting a few weeks later, they exchanged panels and worked on each other’s panel. Over the next five months, they met every two or three weeks to exchange panels and to critique and discuss the work as it progressed. This collaboration challenged them to be sensitive to, and respond to, what was already on the panel, while adding personal ideas and expressions. As the layers were added, each panel began to express a habitat theme, such as urban encroachment, pollution, over-crowding or blight. Once all four artists had touched a panel, they discussed whether it was finished or whether it required additional work. Some panels were finished quickly, while others needed more time to complete the ideas the panel had come to represent.
In addition to the 12 collaborative panels, each artist created four personal 8×8” Habitat panels beginning with collage.
The process of collaboration challenged their problem solving skills, requiring them to go out of individual comfort zones, promoting thoughtful and expressive work …and yes, they are still friends!