I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working collaboratively with artist Siobhan Mc Gibbons and the group from CAHMS Day hospital. Our final Goal of the project was to create a collaborative exhibition that would bring together the different personalities and styles of each artist.
ln my opinion, we certainly achieved this, despite the fact we had no means of communication with the other group. We couldn’t meet or talk to each other – in order to preserve our own identities and to show how they relate to the external world and surroundings that we live in.
Many people would consider this a disadvantage, but for me, this added to the fun and mystery of the project. lt kept our focus on the artwork itself and our personalities shone through the artwork. This allowed ourselves to communicate freely with sculpture, animation and zine.
We did however need to communicate our thoughts and ideas to the other group, so we used this animated app and created a character along with a message. We learned many skills while doing this project, one of them was of course communication! We also learned leadership skills, as Red Bird directed the group from Merlin on how to go about the project but yet ensured that everybody had an equal say.
One of my many memories of the project was learning about casting and mould making techniques resulting in each artist making a mould of their mouth, then embellishing each one to represent our individual identities. Each of the mouths were mounted onto the wall (according to each artist’s height) and were used as a vessel to convey the different personal elements that each of us used in our animation. The centre of the mouth was being used to view the animation as if a window to the soul. I was quite apprehensive at the beginning and the mould tasted like rubber, but after seeing the final product mounted on the wall, l’m really thankful that I took part in this enlightening experience.
We all worked incredibly well together despite communication difficulties. Overall, I feel this project has given me a better understanding of working with sculpture, animation and zine as I had not much knowledge of it before the project.
lt has also given me a better understanding of what identity truly means. lt has given me the opportunity to express myself through art and I am grateful for that. I look forward to doing similar projects like this in the future.
Erin is a Leaving Cert student and an arts enthusiast living in Galway. She is a member of Red Bird Youth Collective. Some of her work has been exhibited in Galway Arts Centre and is currently on a National Tour called Claiming Space. She has also volunteered for Cúirt International Festival of Literature in 2014 and 2015.