Chrissie Macdonald and Marie O’Connor are two friends with a healthy creative energy. Despite knowing and working near each other for many years, they’ve never had the opportunity to tackle a project together without restraints, so when we gave them the chance, we were expecting something pretty left field. We most certainly got it, with an army of figures made from scrap wood.
Below is a snippet of their interview from the If You Could Collaborate catalogue
Hello, can you tell us what you’ve produced for the show?
CM. We’ve created a series of figures made from salvaged wood and scrap material. Using off-cuts and pieces that have been predetermined to a certain extent by another’s hand, we see them as garments in wood, simultaneous costumes and props.
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
CM. For me the greatest challenge arose at the very beginning of the project. Decision making isn’t one of my strong points and the endless possibilities of working to an open brief were mind-boggling…
MO. The biggest challenge for me was probably in the initial stages where there seemed so many possibilities and directions that we could go in. Also, as a collaboration, I felt I had a responsibility to make sure that we both got what we wanted out of the project, not so much a challenge, but another position to put yourself in.
What’s your favourite collaboration of all time?
CM. Charles and Ray Eames’ endless body of beautiful, diverse, intuitive and playful work constantly amazes and inspires me. Although Ted Danson and Shelley Long are also a winning combination.
MO. All of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company collaborations are fascinating, but especially with Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Rei Kawakubo. And The Ballet Russes collaborations with various artists designing sets and costumes from 1909 – 1929 always get me going.
To see the complete If You Could Collaborate feature, click here