During the month of January 2018 John Plowman collaborated with Bernard Leibov, the director of BoxoPROJECTS https://boxoprojects.com, on a project that explored the dynamic of the collaborative process. Their rationale for engaging in this process was to interrogate and better understand their respective positions of artist and curator and to make and present work reflective of the collaborative process. The starting point of which was their experiences, of making, curating, presenting contemporary art and engaging with audiences in nongallery spaces outside of an urban context. They were able to quickly establish a framework for the collaboration, one that enabled them to focus on studio production to produce work that explored a sense of place. Working together and individually they produced a range of artworks that were exhibited at an Open House event in the residency studio at the beginning of February 2018, images below. They made four films, Doggod’, Ganesh, ‘Bonjour Monsieur Courbet and ‘One, two, three’, that make up ‘The Collab Project Showreel’ they can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/254199858
OPEN HOUSE INSTALL VIEWS
The Collab Drawings 2018 Bernard Leibov and John Plowman
In the spirit of the surrealist artists Exquisite Corpse activity each of the the fifteen drawings have been worked on by Bernard Leibov and John Plowman. Initially working on half of the sheets individually before swopping over for the other to overlay their contribution. Each artist has contributed their own motifs to the drawings through a process of mirroring or shadowing that in turn becomes the key theme of the collaboration and can be seen across all the outcomes of the collaboration.
Voyage 2018 John Plowman
The form of this sculpture is a direct result of the series of drawings John Plowman made in his sketchbook throughout the collaborative process. Visualized as two vertical forms facing each the gap in between being the territory that needed to be traversed, explored, mapped out and reconciled by creating a bridge. The sculpture becomes a metaphor not only for the collaboration itself but also for the journey we all make through life as we enter the portal of new landscapes and opportunities.
Homestead 2018 John Plowman
Made from Home Depot wooden yardsticks it’s form could be construed as the doorway of a long abandoned cabin. Ostensibly the L shape refers to the first letter of Lincolnshire, the county of John Plowman’s home in the UK. However the combination of the measuring device and right angle also invokes ideas around mapping territory, building homes etc. The distressed surface of the sculpture is an evocation of the geological forces that have formed the desert landscape.
Desert Dinghy 1, Desert Dinghy 2, Desert Dinghy 3. 2018 John Plowman
Selected because of their more resolved boat form and comparative size they have each been placed on a circular metal reflective disc recalling the shimmering and hazy surface of the desert.
Desert Regatta 2018 John Plowman
This motley collection of desert dinghies has been assembled from the flotsam and jetsam picked up by John Plowman on his daily run. As these boat shaped pieces of wood come into view they confound our experience of the scale of and expectations of the desert.
Beacon Bureau is currently on a residency at BoxoPROJECTS in Joshua Tree California. https://boxoprojects.com
Bernard Leibov, curator/artist, and John Plowman are collaborating on a project that explores the dynamic of the collaborative process. Their aim is to establish a framework for the collaboration where the focus will be on studio production that explores a sense of place. They will engage in a process to interrogate and better understand their respective positions of artist and curator. Key to the collaboration will be their experiences, of making, curating, presenting contemporary art and engaging with audiences in non-gallery spaces outside of an urban context. There will be a public facing event at the end of the project on 3 February 2018.