The purpose of the Handshake 3 programme is to allow the mentee to become an independent artist, steering their own developments. In this process, their former mentor becomes their colleague and in most cases also their fellow art-collaborator for their July exhibition at Objectspace.
The ability to collaborate and communicate is an important component of the necessary skills needed by successful contemporary artists. This collaboration relationship needs to happen with both artist’s galleries and their audiences. Collaborating with other artists is more complicated and involves both trust and chance. The word ‘collaboration’ pops up everywhere, from running successful businesses to forming online platforms. Artists have to circumvent some of the common problems quickly during their engagement in collaborating with others. Common mistakes like compromises in vision and quality to keep the peace, having too many chefs and no cooks, relying and leaning on experiences from others, etc. are known clichés. This well-known quote from industrialist Henry Ford explains in a few words: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. And this anonymous quote sums up common team collaboration issues: “We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others are bright, some have weird names, but we have to learn to live in the same box.” A successful art collaboration needs to be more than following a set formulae of instructions or being respondent to another’s artworks. It has to oppose its clichés and ego driven approaches and establish attitudes in art making processes where the individual artist still is able to thrive in. Only equal partners are able to open up those rare opportunities where the sum of the whole is more than the separate parts.
For the Handshake 3 artist, the investigation of ‘collaboration’ will have broad possibilities – where the collaboration in itself can be a context for deeper exploration. These makers will be pioneers in the experimental search for context and working methodologies that promise to lead to new discoveries for contemporary jewellery. The first
HANDSHAKE 3 collaborations:
Their first collaboration was at Objectspace in July 2016. Most collaborated with their former mentors.
Their last collaboration is with the curator of the Dowse Art Museum (Sian van Dyk).