CHAIN REACTION is the result of 3 artists’ shared experience of a year-long project. Patti Keane, Suzanne Lanchbury and Beate Shallcross have created a series of works linked by a creative chain reaction.
The first link in the chain was a title chosen by Beate. At the end of week one Patti interpreted the given words and worked towards a completed artwork in response. She chose an ‘element’ – an idea, emotion or ‘essence’ that was felt to be the most powerful theme to emerge from the week’s work and struggle. Expressed in words, the element was passed on at the end of the week to Suzanne who took up the challenge and produced her piece of work. The next week she then passed an element on to Beate. The process was repeated each week during the course of the year with the occasional twist in the chain, to create 52 pieces of art in 52 weeks.
We continued to work in our own studios on our given elements, taking on the chain in turn. Diaries were kept, and each week every idea, sketch, trauma and cliché was exposed to each others’ gaze during lively meetings. Collaboration was mainly through discussion. The fast turn-around tested each of us in unforeseen ways, with deep-rooted methods of working and thinking being questioned.
This is a series of work with a sense of renewed joy in the act of creation itself. We invite you to follow the themes and links between our 52 vibrant paintings and sculptures.
BA Hons in Ceramics, Camberwell College of Arts
Suzanne Lanchbury is a ceramic artist. She creates stoneware sculptures describing animals and birds, quirky characters and mysterious woodland creatures.
Suzanne works from her studio in rural West Wales. She has always made things and the wonderfully tactile and immediately expressive medium of clay suits her way of working. Texture and surface decoration are very important elements.
Suzanne is inspired by nature, literature, folklore, childhood, and just about anything and everything! Combined with a vivid imagination the results are rich and varied. Hers is a landscape of storytellers, daydreamers and mischievous children, often in disguise. Whether curious, soulful or playful, her figures portray emotion and invite you to wonder at the world they inhabit.
BA Hons in Visual Arts, University of Gloucestershire
Beate is a visual artist working chiefly with painting and ceramics. In the last year she has also started making jewellery using hand-made ceramic beads – a source of great fun!
Within the past year, a less tight and more expressive way of working has also emerged, becoming a direct inspiration in itself: a dialogue with the Subconscious aiming for a more intuitive and authentic way of working, and as a tool for self- discovery. It is an attempt at letting the hands do the work and not thinking too hard about it . . . always easier said than done!
The influences that most often come to the surface in the work span quite some distances: from the imaginary and impossible fairy lands to real life observations; from classical mythology to nature and many a forest walk; from constructing a character and a whole story to giving in to bold and big abstract feelings.
However, the common thread running through the themes has to be Transformation. What Beate tries to investigate is what makes us change. How we change and how beneficial flexibility, openness and letting go is in that process, paving the way ahead with much-valued experience.
BA Hons in Painting, W.S.C.A.D
I work as a painter and illustrator. Years are spent at the drawing board and alone with one’s thoughts, yet the output of work is surprisingly disappointing!
Not many art works make it to the outside world. The rare Chosen One appears with a flourish at the end of the process, shining and polished in a nice frame. The preparations and failures are condemned to stay in a locked chest, never to see the light of day.
The year I spent working on the Chain Project involved the novel and excruciating experience of sharing new-born ideas and unresolved paintings. A search beam was shone into my own head, and I was horrified to find it contained mostly old socks, empty crisp bags and was decorated with 1970s wallpaper.
This, therefore, was a chance to walk the line with my two fellow artists, to try for a little new vision and have the courage to see what could be done. When the burns on my arms from the arc welding have gone down a bit, I can’t wait to carry on. Is there anybody out there?