Working Together

A collaborative practice in which 4 artists; Rachel Ara, Laura Hudson, Francesca Own and Pete Ward spent 2 days together; working, talking, eating, drinking, thinking and making a collaborative work.

Collaborative work - Photograph Stuart Fiddes at White Moose Gallery 

Collaborative work - Photograph Stuart Fiddes at White Moose Gallery 

The timing of our collaboration coincided with Rachel and I having to downsize our studio, in which we had collected all sorts of objects that might be usefull or become part of an artwork in the future. We took some of these and off-cuts from the workshop to the studio space of aARTh artists Pete Ward and Francesca Owen. Materials on hand were a series of three 3 vista paintings found in a junk shop, 3 chairs, wood off-cuts, rope, string, frames, wallpaper sample book, plywood panels, shrink wrap, CCTV casings, alarm clock (not working), chalk and paint and natural materials.

Finished piece photograph Laura Hudson  at eARTh studios

Finished piece photograph Laura Hudson at eARTh studios


“In law and government, appropriation (from Latin appropriare, "to make one's own", later "to set aside") is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other use”.

A play on the production of an artwork: setting out with existing paintings and chairs, along with the kinds of materials they were made from, in order to make things into what they are not. To create something wrong in order to remake anew.


Beginning, cohesion, agreement, opposition, reconciliation, negotiation, decision, playing against each others idea of ‘what art is’ stamping a monika, claiming the space, positions felt, ownership deferred, egging each other on, watching what changes and how each change affects the others.


Transposed, repositioned, reformed, refined, replaced, separated, tied-together, let-go-of, discarded, removed, changed, interwoven, interconnected, destroyed, generated, added, elaborated, reduced, refigured, re-imagined, replicated, retrofitted, agreed, reconciled, held-on-to, recreated.

While the objects moved around the space, activated by one or other of us, the formal iterations of their positions were like a choreographed dance. At one stage we marked the positions with chalk tracing the actions and movements of the objects in the space. Over time lines traced the history of forms on the floor, marking out an unknown action, a moment before change.  Change is inevitable, what will come next may not be.

Iterations on day 2 - chalk marked

Iterations on day 2 - chalk marked


Our collective piece forms part of painting together at White Moose Gallery. Artists Pete Ward and Francesca Owen re-created what we made together in their studio in the gallery, in its entirety bar a shard of blue splintered wood that went over the larger painting embedded in the floor. Although we disagreed about the rock at the time (Rachel and I wanted it out) it remained steadfast and on hindsight I like the fact that the rock is the only thing that will remain in 100,000 years time.

Annoying Stuart Fiddes (We annoy Ourselves!!!) is the title of our collaborative piece. We could have called it any number of things, ‘Blue Chip’ for one but this title made us smile. It pokes a little fun at; the fear artists have of annoying the wrong person, appropriation, and of deferring to the art market or the idea of the art world or even an assumed audience.


Interesting that none of us spoke of authorship or ownership during the two days, but i like to think we dealt with it by signing the found painting and assigning it to our perceived audience, Stuart Fiddes, a humorous sabbotage of the appropriation by artists to claim as their own the iamges of others.

Photograph Stuart Fiddes White Moose Gallery text by Pete Ward and Francesca Owen.

Photograph Stuart Fiddes White Moose Gallery text by Pete Ward and Francesca Owen.

Rachel Ara studied fine art at goldsmiths and furnture in Devon, Laura Hudson studied environmental art at Glasgow and moving image at st.martins,  Francesca Owen studied painting at the slade and art & environment at Falmouth,  Pete Ward studied graphics at Bristol and art & environment at Falmouth.

painting together is a project by North Devon based eARTh artists Pete Ward and Franceesca Owen that brings together concepts of contemporary art (dialogical, ecopsychology, environmental awareness and process based interdisciplinary collaboration) with the more traditional practice of paint making and painting from locally occurring earth pigments. Painting Together Exhibition continues at White Moose Gallery Barnstaple Devon England, until August 1st 2015