Denis O'Connor and Jenny Ashby
The invitation to be involved in a project that results in exhibiting a work engaging two artists in a collaborative process is a challenging one. An invitation one could have easily side stepped. Artists are rarely compatible except for the choice of wine at the dinner table.
Entrenched behind their own front line, forever attempting to break through on personal soil, only to be turned back to consider their next move. An artist is an intuitive but informed strategist. To join another artist to consider manoeuvres can thwart ones subjective victories. However one never knows when and how the front line can be advanced.
Without compromising each of our subjective victories it was mutually understood that the collaboration needed to extend beyond an agreed design. It was essential to create within our own present individual direction and collaborate through agreeing to work apart. The collaborative relationship was recognised within the parameters of our own current practice. Of course this selective union is pivotal to the work connecting on any given dimension…..conceptual, structural, and corporeal. Bringing two separate bodies of work together and then constructing connections both visual and thematical kept solitary integrity within a partnership that has a vital third member….the audience.
" My work is a private story. Through my own experiences I examine the human function of ordering the past and inquire how we become unfastened and adrift in the act of living. On canvas and paper my ‘drawings’ explore both the particular and the universal. They are portraits of friends and colleagues, and representations of mankind."
"These drawings are an informed response into my investigation and research into the institutionalisation of aboriginal children who were placed into care by government programs such as the White Assimilation policy that was still in practice in Australia up until the 1970s. My work reflects on the stories I have been told by my own aboriginal children’s family and friends, in regards to these policies. At the same time my work is also contemplation on my own upbringing; within a typical white farming family and the stories I was never told. "