Two Voices/One Story; Professor Patricia Silva and Artist Lyall Harris Collaborate on Book Project

Two Voices/One Story; Collaborative Book Works in Florence, Italy

There is an intangible component to every successful collaboration. How could the individuals have known there would be the right synergy? That the combined efforts would result in something greater than the sum of the parts? It becomes even more difficult to predict when the collaboration regards creative work.

A year after having met in Florence, Italy, book artists Patricia Silva and Lyall Harris accepted this challenge, and proceeded to make a series of twelve collaborative book projects.

From the beginning, the artists set constraints for the process, both of materials and time, which forced them to work in an immediate, intuitive and exploratory way. Their process began with one artist providing the inspiration and starting materials, such as saved remnants, quotes and ideas previously set aside. The receiving artist then had two weeks to bring the project to a “halfway” point, materials possibly added or edited during this phase without straying too far from the initial supplies. The project was then given back to the originating artist who finished the books (done in an edition of 2) in two weeks time.

The work addresses issues and stories from their shared and multifaceted point of view as mothers/artists/wives/teachers/expats. The finished books point to a unified aesthetic, as if made by one hand. More than a set intention, this was a natural outcome of their work together. The collection was presented in the SRISA Gallery this month during the SRISA Cultural Program.

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