The collaboration was initiated in August 2004 when Steffan Jones-Hughes, from the Regional Print Studio in Wrexham, visited Ireland on a CCAT Interreg Go and See grant. He met with Margaret Becker in the Leinster Printmaking Studio and they talked about the potential for some sort of print exchange. In October 2006 discussions were followed by exchange visits between artists in both studios.
The seed for this project lay with John Berger's account of his communication through drawing with Marisa Camino. They found the lack of a common (verbal) language an advantage. Twinning with a Welsh partner we began a similar dialogue, where some of us have tried to communicate only through the image. Themes of land, language and place emerged as starting points for this dialogue. It has been both an invigorating and a challenging experience. The work was, and continues to be exchanged by email or post, in notebooks or as first proofs.
What makes this collaboration especially different is the fact that the artists are not working in the same physical space and therefore the work is produced sequentially. There is no face-to-face communication, no interruptions of dialogue, no discussion, and no immediate response. The collaborating artist responds to the work in front of him/her. The work develops at a distance, slowly. Therefore, because of this delayed response, the project is a long term one which is now entering its next phase.
New participants have come on board in Ireland, in Wales and now in Australia. This next phase, while encouraging continued collaborations between established partners, consists of opening up the project to elicit responses to any image by any of the artists, thus encouraging visual dialogue between any two, three or group of participants.