It started with a sink full of dirty dishes. A familiar scene, an everyday chore – I don’t know about you but I don’t mind it – there’s something very satisfying about getting rid of all those messy bits of gunge…
But this was a charcoal drawing by Miriam McConnon for the Concerning the Other project. Then Brian Fay changed it to blue and James Hanley added tiny swimmers. “Suddenly, we are at sea again”, he wrote.
Concerning the Other is a collaborative art project that took place over the summer of 2017. It involved ten contemporary artists working together to produce a hundred pieces of art – striving to promote diversity and concern for minorities in these days of mounting racism and intolerance.
The idea was that we’d all work over each other’s artworks and then pass them on to be reworked again. So, when I received the image, a sort of hellish sinkhole had appeared in the sea. (see Ben Readman’s image above). It reminded me of the fantastical novels of Jules Verne, and then Le Phare du Bout du Monde (the lighthouse at the end of the world) came to mind because I had seen a replica of this lighthouse in La Rochelle, France in recent years.
I wanted to add a lighthouse as a symbol of hope in a world that is being shaken by increasingly violent storms (metaphorical and otherwise). The lighthouse stands firm as a reminder of humanity’s ability to invent and develop new technologies for the good of the world.
Now, you can read more about this and all the other artists’ contributions in a special Concerning the Other book which was launched during the current exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery. It is available in a limited edition of 50 and it contains all the images and all the comments made by the artists at each stage of the process. It really is an intriguing read.
But of course, if at all possible, you should visit the exhibition to see the actual works. It was very interesting to see the images developing online during the 10-week project but it is much more impressive to see the final results hanging on the wall, in real life.