The condition of others was a collaborative project between the Red Bird Youth Collective and two specially set up groups; Purple Lemon Oblivion and The Silent Maroon Rabbit Gang. These collaborative partners were day patients at CAMHS, Galway University Hospital: Merlin Park. The project explored identity through the medium of animation, installation and drawing.
In phase one of the project the group explored the role of the object as a vehicle to discuss identity. Objects reflect and represent us; they embody our tastes, values, hopes, and identities.The artists juxtaposed this notion with thefluidity of identityand from this they created a series of hybrid objects through the medium of animation. The project concluded with a collaborative installation in Galway Arts Centre. Each member exhibited an individual installation from the objects explored during the project. The audience members had to peer through the artists cast mouths to view the work.
Phase two of the project explored the factors and conditions that make up ones identity. The groups comprised a series of questions that explored their beliefs, ambitions and fears and answered them through drawing. What do you think your last words will be? What do you live for? The project concluded with a collaborative ‘zine that was launched in Galway Arts Centre.
Like most youth led projects this project did not begin with a closed series of aims, rather it developed from a series of discussions and brain storming sessions and mutated as the weeks passed. The project was not without its challenges and flexibility was key to its success.
Due to patient confidentiality the Red Birds could never meet with Purple lemon Oblivion or The Silent Maroon Rabbit Gang. Thus, the logistics of creating a truly collaborative project was the biggest problem. However over the course of the two projects the groups developed a unique way of communicating through online avatars and questions with drawings passed between the groups.
We had many successes; small wins such as getting members involved who initially didn’t think they would enjoy the project led to big wins such as discussing issues such as sexuality and mental health.