I am very excited to be involved with a project including 30 New England Wax and 26 European Encaustic Artists, called Transatlantic Fusion.
Transatlantic Fusion are teaming up to collaborate and inspire each other. The final project consists of a series of diptych artworks, where each artist generates a work for their partner, and then in turn creates a second work that responds to their partner’s piece. These resulting pairs will be displayed side-by-side, as a unified work made from two halves. The combined collection of all diptychs will be exhibited virtually, then formatted as book that can be purchased, and offered to galleries in the US and Europe. There will be follow up exhibitions of the works at a physical gallery.
The project began in March 2021, a few twists and turns followed, but a long story short, resulted in an amazing collaboration including; a virtual exhibition, a physical brochure, one half of the pieces being exhibited in a physical exhibition at the The Commons Gallery in Provincetown, in June 2022, a comprehensive presentation and report of the project at the Encaustic Conference in 2022, and the intention of the remaining pieces being exhibited somewhere in Europe in 2023/24.
To be at the opening night, and view the exhibition in person in Provincetown was a brilliant experience, seeing so many other encaustic artworks in one place was a first for me, and to be connected to so many of the participating artists made it all the more special.
The following night, we went out for a celebratory meal and a brochure signing, I have nothing but praise for the whole experience, it was a joy!
Here are a few photos taken during my time in America, and a Live video I did talking about the experience when I got home. You can also read more about my experience throughout the project, at the bottom of this blog.
The two sets of diptych’s Stephanie & I worked on…
Stephanie’s first piece is on the left, and my response to it on the right… plus my thoughts in italics below.
There’s nothing like a letter in the post!
In this digital age, a hand-written letter is a rarity… We must remember the thrill of a letter, or parcel… the smell, the texture of the paper, the cardboard… the joy of carefully opening it, receiving the message inside, knowing somewhere, somebody has been thinking of you…
This piece shares correspondence from Texas, California, MA and the UK… stories, updates and messages… connection, hope and love, from the 1930’s through to 2021…
Across the miles… a nostalgic glimpse back over time…. It all starts with a letter!
My first piece is on the left, and Stephanie’s response to it is on the right… I was delighted to see she responded using her encaustic relief style… I find the approach fascinating, and it’s what instantly drew me to Stephanie’s work when I first encountered it…
2020, an abrupt line in the sand; becomes a new doorway, a new method of connection and friendship that wasn’t pursued before. A softness and gentleness comes from having the time to stop, connect and look within.
As we form new relationships, with amazing souls, serendipitous events take place, and we expand our energy way beyond our previous way of being.
Turquoise and blue represent distance between the members of this project, the miles don’t stop this connection, the energy oozes out across the airwaves, transcending physical constraints.
Life is all the richer for it.
To read some of the ups and downs that happened throughout the project, see below…
We had a first meeting back at the beginning of March 21, where names were pulled from a hat to determine who was working with who, it was a great meeting, and so inspiring to be on a call with like minded encaustic artists, we are a rare breed…!
I was so delighted to be teamed up with Stephanie Roberts-Camello… I have admired her encaustic relief work for many years, so was over the moon when her name was drawn with mine.
Anyhow, that planning stage back in March is where the project started to hit some stumbling blocks, it was agreed we work in particular set sizes, using Ampersand EncausticBord… all good in theory, but this was where the availability of these products in Europe really started to show the cracks.
Sizes weren’t available in all countries, there were not enough boards for all 26 European Artists from any one supplier, etc. etc. etc. After countless calls and head scratching, the US and EU committees went away to come up with a solution, they arranged an order direct from Ampersand to be flown into Germany, then distributed to various locations from there… All artists now have their boards to start working on, which took weeks… one of mine was received with a damaged corner, and took months to receive a replacement, it really highlighted some of the supply challenges that Encaustic Artists face in Europe!
So back to my pairing… I had a great Zoom call with Stephanie… it’s like having a modern day American pen friend… (remember those?!!) So inspiring to sit, talk encaustic, have a tour of each others studios, find out more about what inspires us… I came away buzzing….
We continued our correspondence, and sent each other physical mail, to share the actual colours and materials we were using in our paintings, the colours showing between my phone, laptop and printer were quite different (to my eye), and the range of waxes Stephanie used aren’t available in the UK, so I wanted my response to be as close in colour to hers as I could create. I also incorporated some copies of old letters Stephanie had sent me within the piece, which really added to the distance across the miles theme.
Before jumping onto my first board, I created a smaller test piece to check that my ideas worked… I used this technique where I allow layers created underneath to show through…
May 2021: Here’s my first piece for Stephanie to respond to…
The project progresses with all artists having completed their second works by the end of August. I am excited to see how it all unfolds!
Here’s a video during the creation of my response where I’m incorporating the old letters.
I was really happy with how the response came out.