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Creative Arts Collaboration – Sue Lucas and Rachael Barns

We both started the Creative Arts degree in 2021 and have been working at a similar pace so reached the collaboration exercise in unit 3 at the same time. Having already met online in Creative Arts studio and Just Do It sessions we decided to work together. We have always seemed to have similar interests and ways of working, although often produce very different results for the same exercises. Both of us have a particular interest in textiles and working sustainably. Sue is particularly interested in the environment, using biodegradable materials sourced from the environment. Whereas Rachael’s interests lie more in using plastic waste packaging and experimenting with technology. Perhaps these differences reflect our 15-year age gap!


Our first collaboration consisted of a single exchange, each making a piece of work for the other to finish. We live 330 miles apart so met virtually and posted work to each other. The only constraint was that all materials used would be compostable so we were both surprised to see how similar our starter pieces were!


We both really enjoyed the experience of collaborating. Knowing that the pieces were going to be deconstructed and altered gave us both a sense of freedom in our work, reducing the pressure to create something ‘finished’. It gave us a refreshing opportunity to play, and led us to be more creative whilst respectful of the other’s work. Also giving an insight into the way someone else creates. It was so successful we decided to continue and are now working on our second, longer collaboration.


We realise not all collaborative work runs this smoothly or is as enjoyable! The only problem we have encountered so far is the postal service – one of the pieces seems to be lost in the post. You can read more about our collaborative journey on our Instagram and learning logs. If anybody is interested in joining us for future collaborations please get in touch.



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