Images: Annalisa Mercuri/and Annette Holtkamp with Karen Stander.
We, a group of OCA student-artists living and working in Europe, are presently engaged in a project that we have named Wånder Wide Web. In late Summer 2021 we identified the need to encourage collaboration, expand our horizons, exchange ideas and learn the use of digital platforms with the aim of staging a virtual exhibition in June 2022.
We were initially 22 students, which indicated that the theme was of interest to almost half of the OCA students in Europe. We chose tutor Diana Ali to mentor us through the process with three workshop sessions on collaboration, curation, marketing, and art critique. Another tutor - Helen Warburton, delivered a mind broadening session on artist’s online presence and the many ways of exhibiting digitally.
As our name implies, we build a virtual web across Europe, as far apart as Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Romania, the Scilly Islands, Slovakia, Germany, UK, and even South Africa. The work in progress is as widely varied as our individuals: Lichens, Mushrooms, Mycelium, Leaves of Europe, Drawing machines, Patterns, Film projects and dipping canvases in the Waters of Europe. Our participants are on different levels of study and on varying pathways, which adds to the variety in the group. We have successfully created a safe space where all participants (now 19) feel at ease to share, exchange and contribute. The artists have learned to communicate like mycelium, giving and taking ideas, grouping together for collaborative projects and helping each other keep up momentum. This is proving to be an enriching learning experience for all of us.
Images: Sonia Boening and her participants/and Baiba Vagule with Admill Kuyler
We thank OCA and OCASA for funding our tutor-led workshops and making this possible. Stay tuned to learn more soon.