C is for Collaboration an Interview with Bethany Riordan-Butterworth

Dear Dear Dear Bethany,
You are a lady of many talents as a potter, animation film director, illustrator, etc etc! You make me so happy and so does your art! Your work makes me feel the same as your hugs do, warm, thoughtful and loving .La la de da..
Recently, you had a big group hug with some other local artists resulting in a collaboration called The Secret Tumbler Project. What did that project consist of?

The project was an excuse to spend time with people I love, as well as to get to know new people. I have spent a lot of time exploring ceramics, and considering the medium. Recently I have been really excited about getting others involved in the process and getting my work into as many hands as possible. The project was set up in a way where I made 75 tumblers, and 5 different artists were invited to come into the studio and draw on them. Each artist was given 15 tumblers and I explained the drawing process, then they were free to do as they pleased. In exchange for the time spent drawing, each participant was given a set of tumblers- one by each artist. All told it took about a month and a half to complete everything. To celebrate we had a release party where the tumblers were on display and a few were for sale. They got snapped up surprisingly quickly!

I remember peeking in Turnstile one night seeing you and the rest of the crew Aaron Mangle, Daniel Espeset, Emily Davidson, Erin MacMillan and Nicholas Robins working away, it looked so exciting how did it feel to work with so many people at once?

It was really exciting, you're right, and it was also really overwhelming at times. Everyone was a total darling, and was really happy to be there. All the artists had a blast, and it was great to have them in the studio, but the organization was what killed me. Although at times I thought I was going to die, at the end I was so proud to have orchestrated it all. And they weren't always in the studio at the same time- I had a variety of times arranged, so for the most part there were only two artists in the studio with me.

You are such an active member of the community what inspires you about Halifax? How do you want to inspire the city?

I think one of the most inspiring things about Halifax is the resourcefulness. So many people make their own fun, and I do the same thing. The creative community is made up of incredible people, and I really just try to do good things that involve good people. Life is a difficult thing but it is also a beautiful thing and I want to inspire the city and the people who live here to feel excited about it.

Do you have any other collaboration projects in your future plans or will you be doing solo work in 2010?

Oh, well, my mum asked me the same question and I said I hoped to get some time to myself. She laughed and said she doubted I would! I want to spend the winter being quiet, but I am planning on running the Fuller Lecture Series again, which pretty much dominates the summer. A lot of people expressed interest in participating in the next Secret Tumbler Project, but I do need some solo time before embarking on another team effort.

Thank you thank you Bethany!
The Secret Tumbler photos were provided by photographer artist friend Brendan Dunlop
Artists in order of Photos shown are :
1- Daniel Espeset
2- Emily Davidson
3- Nicholas Robbins
4- Aaron Mangle
5- Erin MacMillan

1 comment:

  1. The tumblers are beautiful! Sounds like so much fun.