If You Could Collaborate

The fourth annual If You Could exhibition has opened: CR was lucky enough to have a preview of the 33 collaborative projects on show

Calligraffiti by Craig Ward, Sean Freeman and Alison Carmichael

The fourth annual If You Could exhibition opens tonight and CR was lucky enough to have a look around the 33 collaborative projects earlier today…

Contributors to If You Could Collaborate, which is at the Rochelle School’s A Foundation Gallery in east London, were asked to come up with a piece of work in collaboration with someone of their choosing, from any profession or background.

Thus we have designer Anthony Burrill working with astronomer John Griffiths; architectural modellers The Model Shop realising the typographic designs of studio Praline; illustrator Marion Deuchars teaming up on a large scale, cut-up motorway sign, with designer Margaret Calvert; and designers Andersen M Studio, collaborating with LekaGape, a care home for women in children in South Africa.

Anthony Burrill produced these prints with astronomer John Griffiths

The Model Shop and Praline’s Avec font, based on architectural floor plans

The A Foundation Space has been filled with the fruits of 33 pairings and includes a screening room for the four film pieces that were created for the project. There are some real treats here, particularly in the work of Jon Klassen and David O’Reilly whose looped animated film gradually breaks down to reveal the nuts and bolts of its own creation, so to speak (shapes become wireframes, for example).

And the Wouters brothers, Roel and Job, demonstrate the seductive powers of their Rainbowgun – a “calligraphic monster brush” that can hold up to seven working spray cans at once – as they go about illustrating numbers one to seven in a short performance piece. (Nice matching shirts boys).

We also really liked the piece by director Michael Moloney and DP John Hooper, which was result of the pair camping out in the Great Langdale area of the Lake District to make a time lapse film of night and day. The film rotates twice through 360º and is interspersed by flashes, each apparently set off by one of the pair using another camera, and timed to the music score’s 96bpm. The overall effect – particularly when daylight floods into the panoramic scene – is really quite beautiful.

The typographic efforts of Craig Ward, Sean Freeman and Alison Carmichael are also impressive, espcially when you work out that the flowing type fixed to the gallery walls is actually cut from wood.

There’s a lot to see here and much to admire in the new work that’s emerged from a very productive series of collaborations.

As Alex Bec (half of the It’s Nice That team with Will Hudson – the curators of the If You Could projects) says simply, “the nature of this was to let people make new things”. And in its essence, IYCC proves how healthy it can be for creatives to work with people from beyond their own professional, or artistic, spheres and create something original in the process.

We loved this: a Victorian sash window, complete with ‘crack’, by Stefan Kraus and Sebastian Wrong (apologies for the photo quality

Giant-sized prints on felt by Jesse Auersalo and Jesse Pietilä

Stitched and painted pieces by Sandy Suffield and Fiona Woodcock, based on “the poetry and wit” of Sun newspaper headlines

Also accompanying the exhibition is a 312-page catalogue (£15) that sheds light on the various creative processes that the artists used to create their pieces of work.

If You Could Collaborate is open from 15-24 January (private view on the 14 January) at the A Foundation Gallery at Rochelle School, London E2 7ES. The gallery is open 12-6pm and until 9pm on 21 January. More information at ifyoucould.co.uk/collaborate.

The full line-up of collaborators is as follows:

Andersen M Studio & LekaGape
Fontaine Anderson & Deanne Cheuk
Jesse Auersalo & Jesse Pietilä
BCMH & Smith&Wightman
Anthony Burrill & John Griffiths
Fred Butler & No Days Off
Jacob Dahlgren & Johan Löfgren
Marion Deuchars & Margaret Calvert
James Gilpin & Helge Fischer
Karl Grandin & And Beyond
George Hardie & Leonardo Sonnoli & Sara Fanelli
Hellovon & Timothy Saccenti
Mario Hugo & Micah Lidberg
Hvass&Hannibal & Anne Werner
Oliver Jeffers & Aaron Ruff
Karlssonwilker & Frank DeRose
Jon Klassen & David OReilly
Stefan Kraus & Sebastian Wrong
Max Lamb & Gemma Holt
Chrissie Macdonald & Marie O’Connor
Sam Messenger & Bart Long
Michael Moloney & John Hooper
Praline & The Model Shop
Rainbow Dropshadow & A Nice Idea Every Day
Rob Ryan & Michael Marriott
Jim Stoten & Andy Rementer
Sandy Suffield & Fiona Woodcock
Julien Vallée & Nicolas Burrows
Jorre van Ast & Damien Poulain
Craig Ward & Sean Freeman & Alison Carmichael
With Associates & Anthony Dickens
Job Wouters & Roel Wouters
Ian Wright & Riitta Ikonen

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