reflections on studio collaboration (laura)

charleston flips

Dear Tina,

I am completely renewed, inspired and invigorated by our studio collaboration in your lovely town of Charleston. From the moment you picked me up at the airport our conversation immediately fell into a natural rhythm, much like the ebb and flow of the ocean, something we are both mindful of living on the shore. Eight months of being apart quickly dissolved into the warm southern air and I was enlivened with enthusiasm for our first studio collaboration together. We were not lacking in ideas that’s for sure!

The Rumi poem rooted our ideas about friendship and was the perfect reminder to stay present as we sifted through our ongoing thought. I believe this piece became a testament to the conscious decision we made three years ago when we met and chose to follow a line of inquiry about what could be learned from friendship, art, intellectual engagement and the seemingly ordinary (yet almost always extraordinary) moments in our lives. Thinking about how many people say they will stay in touch and never do, I am aware of how special the commitment to our friendship is, especially as it relates to our art. Even though we are not geographically close we are able to nurture each other and feed our artistic practices through our conversation and reflections on the world around us. Many artists feel lonely in their studios, yet in the in quiet moments I have in my studio I am able to process and “hear” your voice. Our work together has forever changed how I see, think, hear and feel about the world. This leaves me with a full heart, overwhelmed with gratitude.

Tina, our time in Charleston together was filled with seemingly random moments which led to meaning and connection. Everything from visiting galleries on the art stroll, having the opportunity to be surrounded by your art (so psyched to FINALLY see it in person) and most importantly, you sharing your home and family with me. I learned through all of these things. When it came down to us creating the work we were able to allow our ideas to complement each other. The vintage maps of South Carolina, Connecticut and the ocean, provided a metaphor for the distance between us, as well as the “spaces in between.”  Our magical, moonlit walk talking and splashing my feet in the warm salt water grounded me in “the moment” and reminded me of what I learn spending time with you. Our easy conversation allows me to contemplate things I may otherwise not have. We have a special way of communicating our ideas to each other that has no attachment to “ego.” We are able to focus on the larger picture of our work. In this case, how we have our separate lives, yet always seem to meet in the middle, blending technique, thought and idea.

Our work together reinforced why I create. I create to grow and understand the world more fluidly, to appreciate others ideas, commonalities and where those ideas differ or mesh. Tina, we both had many ideas for this piece of art, yet it came out nothing like either one of us envisioned. This piece is a process of thought at this particular time in our lives. It brings both our worlds together for a meaningful moment, yet the birds are symbolic of the journey where we travel, both physically and metaphorically. Two places, two artists, two ideas transforming thought.

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