Archive for the ‘Creators of BIG’ Category
The tiniest member of the BIG team and her mama recently set off across country on a LONG and magical flight for a girls own adventure in Sydney. Together, we spent six days arranging the BIG pages, seeing sights, having BIG meetings, perusing galleries and art stores, splashing waves, sticking, sculpturing, enjoying books and baby cino’s, and watching players on the stages of the iconic Sydney Opera House. After seeing the not-so-imaginative ‘Imaginocean’, we were then guests at The Cat in The Hat – a very life-like translation of the book indeed! The Creative Play interactive artist designed projects and storytelling after the shows were fantastic and gave the events a multi-dimensional feeling which is so great for sense-making and engagement! The girls loved the new outdoor area of the Opera House with Fruit Fly circus performing, stacks of wooden blocks and oversized lego to create with in the sand pit and on the grass – a very cool space for kids and their grown-ups too. Of course we were then entertained at home with impromptu plays inspired by the shows. The 2013 Kids At The House includes Andy Griffiths 13 Story Treehouse (loved by the BIG boys). Our picks are Miss Ophelia, Little Big Shots and The Man Who Planted Trees among other gems.
The year has begun in full and as we both race and tread tenderly Into The Dark buoyed with the incoming contributions from the most INCREDIBLE collection of kids and artists, we are excited.
And as ever, still learning!
We are also working on our second MAN Festival and have an awesome line up including the gorgeous new Mother Load project, and a VERY new mother artist. If you would like to be considered for an upcoming festival send us an email with MAN in the title to firstname.lastname@example.org
To kick off 2013 we will spend this week in Sydney for days of on-the-floor pagination and BIG dreaming with our two not-so-baby girls in tow. We have a BIG meeting at the Opera House (grin!) and trips planned to various galleries and of course, the beach. My boys have been promised the next trip but this time it will be a girlie escape :)
Even though we are so used to the long distance magazine-making and have certainly developed unspoken telepathic creative processes to enable side by side looking from afar, it is always so wonderful to be hands on in the same room, actually curating, writing, drawing, painting, dreaming and watching the work come to life.
As we head into the making of our FOURTH and FIFTH issue this year, we are joined by a quietly expanding team, namely my mum who is helping us to make very slow motion sense of gst and other such number feats and Lilly’s brother who, via the US, supports us in our business renderings. We tackle every day the demands of a small business and this help is invaluable. BIG is a full time as yet unpaid arts project that does not just publish existing content – the curation and creating of content means that we are in constant collaboration with each other, with our designers, with international projects and organisations, and with the artists and kids who we invite to participate. The making of this BIG artwork is a side by side project of mammoth proportions! It is incredible to watch it growing so fast from the inside and we are both looking forward to another BIG year :)
|BIG flagship by Lilly Blue|
|‘Almost Cold Enough’ (Dec 2009) by our Game On! cover artist, Stormie Mills.|
|“Lilly made this” she tells everyone who comments on her owl..|
The nights are late and the work is as driven as it was when we began whispering this BIG thing to life more than two years ago. Sometimes we are exhausted. Forever managing ways to mark out the time differently, to acknowledge the work done by the other and together, to do what we can, to remember our voice in the overwhelm. The administration is relentless and roles are necessarily divided. The creative work is ongoing between us and behaves much like a child demanding attention to the exclusion of all else. And sometimes like a child, it has to wait which, more often than not, ends with EVERYONE grumpi ;) As the BIG creative directors, we are also our own PA’s – responsible for sleuth work on returned to sender subscriptions, for invoicing and advertising, for business, for responding to submissions, for curating the artwork, for the features, for collaborative design, for blogging, face booking, emailing, meetings and meltdowns. It is a BIG journey, daily, and mapped mostly by the energetic rise and fall of the four little people in our lives.
Right now we are immersed in the beauty of a new work unfolding. The creative development of Issue 4 Into The Dark is well under way even though it will not be published for 5 months. It is the most exciting time, ideas drawn up and exchanged at all hours, words scribbled on scrap paper and paintings flown through a cracked iPhone screen for immediate response. It is a fuelled and firing process with the luxury of a slow burn over the holiday period before the speed and adrenalin of final design in the new year. We are beside ourselves with the quality and QUANTITY of artwork and words received from around the world. Current collaborations and exchanges are on the go between here and Russia, Helsinki, the Netherlands, New York…sometimes we pause and catch our breath and laugh a little for the enormity of this BIG project. Last night I was asked if we could speak to some artists about how we got BIG off the ground. Well, we can hardly remember the specifics (except that every step has been recorded here on the blog) and agree it was unthinkable that we made the bulk of the first magazine without a SINGLE spoken conversation! We could write a book on the making of a magazine (and yes, it is on the list!)
As we watch the pages growing almost by themselves, we speak increasingly about a BIG pedagogy that is a realisation of where we have been working from for so long; that of valuing the work of children and artists side by side. That of giving a voice to the concept of not knowing. Of challenging the authority of art practice and paradigm. Of firing creative response without prescribed expectation or goal. Of contributing to the conversation about the value and accessibility of arts education. Of giving permission for new ways of open-ended art making and risk-taking. Of nurturing bravery, imagination and making visible the power and impact of generosity and collaboration. Of a process of co-authorship that is significant and immersed yet driven with individual still voices maintained and spacious. And of this balance of particular practice of co-authorship and creative process in relation to collaborating with children.
For us both we feel the BIG work is a growing culmination of 20 years each as practicing artists and educators. In arriving at a clear vision for BIG there is again space for the creative work between us to thrive and spark threads unexpected. Lilly works on a series of dark monsters and I respond with words scrawled over late night print-outs. We dream up the beginnings of limited edition artist books with our work published as a response to each of the magazines. We follow instinct and watch the BIG world build as a paper city between us. A continuous and evolving exhibition. Marks made and erased and made differently in response to the other. Live and in process.
We are so grateful for the feedback and support given to us from so many circles and this enables us to continue. Thank you x You can subscribe here or help us by sharing the BIG work among friends.
A BIG city stretched and grown across long distance and
late night magazine making.
A bridge between two houses, two worlds.
late night magazine making.
|(Not a tug of war)|