The Collective

19 Jan

pat graham

Isolation can be good for an artist, giving the opportunity for reflection and concentration, but it can also be …. well ….  isolating. I’m a member of a couple of artist collectives and I find this gives me the best of both worlds, because I can share ideas and workload with others when I need to.


The 15 Hundred Lives collective has a regular gig at Swansea’s Creative Bubble for 2 days each month. It started because we wanted to have some space to work together occasionally and also to work on things that might be too big for our studios. But, as a group committed to democratising art, we also liked the idea of throwing the door open so that the public could come in and see what we do and appreciate the artistic process. And we also wanted to give other artists the chance to work occasionally as part of a group and have access to a great space.


So here we are. We’ve just finished our 6th session over 6 months and it looks like we might be able to continue throughout the year. Lots of people wander in to look around and chat to us and artists are keen to come in and use the wall space. Graham Parker and this month’s guest artist, Patricia McKenna-Jones are in the top picture; Graham working on an abstract painting and Patricia on a drawn collage composed of drawings she’s made onto newspaper from her sketchbook studies. Then there’s Sylvie Evans, using the window space to construct a collage from left-over Xmas materials and I’m in the third picture working directly onto newspapers.

melAnd here’s our guest artist from last month, Melanie Ezra, who popped in to use some spare wall to put up her work in progress so she could see what it looks like in a large gallery space. She also too the opportunity to chat to the public and other artists about the piece to get their opinions.

8 Responses to “The Collective”

  1. Brian Anthony Hardie (Portland, Oregon) February 7, 2014 at 07:46 #

    Reblogged this on Brian Anthony Hardie?.

  2. Angie Thompson January 20, 2014 at 14:44 #

    I agree with the above. A fantastic idea and so much fun. Freelancing and making art can be a solitary world. I’m doing a visiting lecturer gig tomorrow and I’m so excited to be getting out and about. I feel like I’ve been picked for the team! But the opportunity to connect in the real world isn’t always available, so sharing ideas and thoughts on our blogs addresses that need to some extent. Interested in whats going on in the top image – newsprint faces…

    • Rosie Scribblah January 20, 2014 at 23:49 #

      Yes, it’s good to have a regular 2 days a month to do this, it’s been very useful

  3. cedds January 20, 2014 at 12:19 #

    Fantastic I love teh idea !! I think you should have included more pictures.

  4. KnitNell January 20, 2014 at 12:11 #

    What a fantastic idea. Do you know if any other cities in the UK are doing something similar? One empty shop in Farnham, Surrey was used as a Pop-up Art Gallery for Farnham Art Society for a couple of weeks before Xmas and so at least brought local talent to the high street. It would be lovely to add a studio for some of the artists to work in and to chat to the public.

    • Rosie Scribblah January 20, 2014 at 12:59 #

      The space is being leased by our local art college and they prioritise students and recent graduates, but other arts groups can have access to the space as well.

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