Collage as a way of starting: Sketchbook Circle 2016

A friend and I have joined in with something called a ‘sketchbook circle‘.

Described as “a year-long collaborative project established to encourage artist educators to make time for their own personal work”, there are 250+ members in the circle  this year!

Each month you add something to a sketchbook then post it to another person in the circle.

Animation showing how we swap sketchbooks on the Sketchbook Circle

The sketchbooks move around the circle one person left, then one person right, like a pendulum.  That means – hopefully! –  that over a year, each person generates an artistic dialogue between the artist directly to our left and right from our position on the wheel…

Starting with a blank sketchbook can be daunting so I started with some cutting and sticking…

New sketchbook for Sketchbook Circle 2016

I don’t want to give too much of it away because it’s nice to get a surprise when when you receive it in the post, but wanted to document the process of its creation.

Detail of collage done on January's pages for Sketchbook Circle 2016

I think the plan is that you can respond to what someone has done; developing an idea, using the colours, techniques, shapes, but also editing. Removing, going over, making anew.

The main thing is to continue the back and forth of ideas between your partners.

Detail of collage done on January's pages for Sketchbook Circle 2016

The theory is that you not only do you have a deadline to meet to get some work done and post it off, you’re also encouraged to ‘let go’ of what you’re making.

To trust that the year-long process of making will generate something interesting and curious to both you and your fellow artists. And to enjoy it!.

I have seen some of the sketchbooks created last year and they are also interesting and curiosity piquing to someone looking in from the outside too! That’s what made me want to take part this year.

The process ends with an exhibition of the sketchbooks – the 2015 sketchbooks will be on show at the Gerald Moore Gallery in February 2016.

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