How can a collaboration between an incoming contemporary artist, and a local artist-artisan, happen beyond the default position of the first asking the latter to objectify an idea? How can the skills and practice of the contemporary artist affect the skills and practice of the artist-artisan, and vice-versa? How can the traditional hierarchical relationship turn into a collaborative one, with mutual input and affectation?
The Scottish Sculpture Workshop arranges a collaboration between myself and Gavin Smith, a local woodcarver, whom I've never met. Guided as much by intuition and instincts as conversation, we walk, fly, drink, eat and finally clear his barnyard, which is overrun with weeds and littered with large stacks of forlorn wood. In order salvage the boards, we stack them in the form of a 5-ton Arts & Crafts house. A tunnel leads to a staircase, which ascends to the roof, from which he can overlook his clutter and view the landscape. An injured bird finds shelter underneath the stack, and new 6- and 8-legged tenants make their homes between the boards.