Introduce yourself and tell us about your practice - how would you describe the work you do? How did your collaboration come about?
Sean Roy Parker: I have a sprawling practice based in the lifecycle of materials, comprising a studio-based sculpture, practical public workshops, and collaborative environmental projects. Jamie and I met whilst participating in School of the Damned and have been working together sporadically ever since.
Jamie Hudson: My work is about aggregation and the experience of production and consumption. Sean and I have certain crossovers with our work, and have an open approach to collaborating that has been supportive for us both.
How does collaborating benefit your practices? (or what does it bring to your individual practices?)
SP: I like to work quickly and intuitively, which really benefits from having another person to bounce against with regards to decision-making and grouding. I find the social and professional dynamic to be nurturing and already this year I've collaborated with May Hands at Peak in Elephant & Castle, and Hugh Frost at Good Press in Glasgow. Both artists brought qualities that I lack and it feel like there's a third person in the project; an amalgam of us two.
JH: Finding a reason to collaborate and learn from artists that I respect and admire is largely the reason that I make work, and I absolutely agree with what Sean mentioned about finding new perspectives through working with others. In Newark collaborating meant finding common ground between our interests in imagined futures, collective apathy and our personal environmental concerns.
Have you undertaken any residencies before? - if so, what benefits does a residency offer?
SP: Jamie and I first worked together on an SOTD residency at Guest Projects in East London during July 2017 on a project called Proof which was later featured on an online exhibition called Worm: Refuse (v)(n)(+). I find the residency format encourages experimenting with ideas and materials within a fresh framework of time or location, and development is measured in personal evaluation rather than through 'finished work’.
JH: We also participated in a residency with SOTD at the Merz Barn last year. This was an example of a residency in which the spaces in-between making were really valuable. Many of us found this time to be very important for processing new experiences together like group discussions, deep listening exercises and sharing food.
The ideology and pressure of intensified work is often not the best thing about residences!
Tell us about the work you developed during the 48 hour residency? - how did the residency help you achieve this work? - did the short-time frame affect the work you made?
JH: This residency was loosely based on the beautifully told Ursula Le Guin story ‘Paradises Lost’, a text about isolation and guilt in a version of humanity that is looking to colonise new planets having left this ‘dirt ball.’
In our proposal we spoke of using the residency space as a sealed environment, like a cocoon, full of transformation and invisible consequence. Our plan was to make works using only discarded material from an area surrounding the residency space; we hoped to put ourselves in Le Guin’s fictional context, and to reflect on the idea of ‘humanities leftovers’ in our reality.
SP: Using the shopfront was great as it emphasised the disconnect between inside and outside, and feeling like an alien. I enjoy working against the clock as it throws up surprises which can affect the rest of the project; rigid constraints help me to coagulate my ideas quicker through doing.
JH: It was very rewarding to have a short period of a rigorous production to then find a different materiality in the documentation of the work. The photographs not only followed the aesthetic of Le Guin’s science fiction but also exaggerated the naive and messy assembly of the works and our attempts to capture something distant and alien in their synthetic components. The time restrictions of the residency and the strangeness of the space helped us to find new ways to get closer to our initial ideas / brief.
What other projects have you got coming up?
SP: Next week I'm heading to Liverpool for a week-long project, inviting local craft enthusiasts to share their skills and knowledge through free workshops at Crosby Library, a beautiful building in the heart of Sefton. I've also just started as a Lead Artist on Camden Arts Centre's 'Get The Message' programme, planning and delivering inclusive and creative sessions to students attending Special Education Needs schools.
JH: I am about to relocate to Gothenburg, Sweden to continue working with a continued focus on radio and sound-based projects.
Thanks to Harlan, Jason the Locksmith and Axisweb for facilitating.