Those who have seen earlier videos from Eureka garden know that “collaboration” is a recurring theme. I am interested in this topic, not because I am an expert, but because I feel like I probably could learn some important life lessons by being more collaborative. Collaborations of all types require that one enter into relationships where one’s ego is on the line, so to speak. Once you are involved with other people, you are not in complete control; you have to become flexible.
There are different levels of collaboration and most of us collaborate at elementary levels. For instance, I have the good fortune of being a member of Art Group of North County (https://artgroupofnorthcounty.weebly.com/) , a group that meets weekly to critique one another’s creations and to jointly promote exhibitions. What I call “higher order collaborations” are rarer in the arts and entail creating projects jointly. In these cases, each of the participants must listen to and consider ideas from the others and this means they may have to “let go” of pet ideas or insights. From what I have read, those who engage in such collective creative processes find them extremely challenging and also extremely satisfying. Understandably, artists from different disciplines (e.g. music and visual arts) find collaborating especially difficult, as well as rewarding. Interestingly, those reporting on such experience all say that just sitting down and getting to know the other person is the most important part of collaborating.
One of the reasons for establishing “Eureka Gardens”, (which mainly entailed giving a name to my back yard), was to set up a way of practicing collaboration in a semi-formal way, with someone I trust and feel comfortable with; namely my wife. By thinking of our joint effort as an artistic collaboration, I believe I have become more mindful of how my ego works and how it often gets in the way of maintaining harmony in the garden. I have no clue of what the future will bring, but I would hope that the Eureka Garden concept may lead to some “higher order” collaborations with various artists.
You can see a small step in this direction in the 5-minute video below. In this case, we collaborated with artist Charley Taylor- whose painting we purchased- to find a suitable context for viewing her piece. There are no blank spaces in our house or garden, so when looking for a place for new art we have to give some thought as to how it will interact with surrounding elements. This is something I had not paid much attention to in the past and I’m finding it to be an interesting challenge. In this case, we thought the artist should have some say in the process and this is what the video is about.
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