A Collaboration of People and Pulp
Gumbo was a collaborative project executed through an artists’ collective Hannah is a member through: Expanded Draught The work created for this project was exhibited during the Friends of Dard Hunter Conference in St. Louis in October of 2013.
The paper was composed of materials from the lives of the participating artists. Each Exapanded Draught member collected bits of natural and synthetic fibers from their lives such as old work shirts ripped into scraps, thread bits, dog hair, torn up prints, junk mail, etc. Paper-maker Megan Singleton then blended those scraps into a “gumbo” slurry and beat the pulp into paper. The paper was then sent back to the artists who used it to create artwork in a variety of media.
We chose to stick with drawings, especially given our limited apartment/studio accommodations. Our contribution, titled “Ripe When Soft”, references our notions of family dynamics through the real-life practice of saving and exchanging produce stickers off of fruits and vegetables we have consumed over the course of our relationship. We continue to develop a productive, supportive way to collaborate; in this case the drawings were a sort of “call and response”, with Blake executing drawings that responded to Hannah’s pieces. The resulting drawings have similarities in subject matter, but emphasize the difference in our process and style. You can read more about these pieces in our Blog post, “Recent Collaborations: Working on Working Together,” by Blake.
Images from the Exhibition & the Collaborative Book
Official Project Description
The premise of this exhibition was to facilitate collaboration across borders using the process of papermaking, specifically through the creation of pulp and the source of the fiber that constitutes it. Seventeen artists from the U.S., Ireland, and England mailed Expanded Draught Member Megan Singleton at least 4 oz of fibrous material, that was derived at one point from a natural material. This material was then used to make 10 pounds of “Gumbo Pulp”. Materials that were sent range from old work shirts, to cut up prints, to palm leaves, old maps, and birthday cards from ex girlfriends.
This gumbo pulp was then used to make each artist 6 sheets of variably sized paper. Participating artists then used these sheets to make a piece of work to send back to Megan by September 15th. The works made on and of this paper included drawings, paintings, collage, prints, cut-paper, and sculpted paper. . .
Megan bound a collective book of drawings/print/photo/collage made on the four smaller sheets sent to each artist. This book was also shown as a collaborative piece for the show.
Gumbo was a collaborative project through the international artists' collective Expanded Draught. The work created for this project was exhibited during the Friends of Dard Hunter Conference in St. Louis in October of 2013.