AAEX Zoom Making

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We have decided to re-purpose Zoom for collaborative creative practice and develop a set of Zoom sessions that allow us to work together (or at least alongside each other) for a set time and record this in Gallery view, producing grid view recordings as collaborative artworks in their own right.

The first such session took place on Wednesday, 18th October 2020. 16 AAEX artists took part in the session, in which cameras were turned away from the participants onto a work or performance space of their choice. Instead of participant’s names, snippets of poems and other text were displayed.

List of participants and short statements about their contributions (left to right in the grid view):

Bernhard GaulAAEX spelled in flag alphabet
Jenny SlaterMy piece was a tableau of objects that I found during lockdown, on walks around my local area and in my garden. It was also about the opportunity the lockdown gave me to re-find or reconnect with a deeper sense of self through working with nature.
Ciara AgnewI am working on wood and a stretched linen canvas, I’m working with oil paints, charcoal, pencils and palette knives. I have no predetermined idea what the finished piece should look like, I’m playing with materials and colours.
Catherine McCourtI was thinking about how this lockdown is all about the promise of Christmas spent with loved ones. For my zoom video I started to make Christmas tree decorations to gift to my family which I hope to give to them in person after these restrictions are lifted.
Jean MarshallMala Meditation Necklace – 
“For every knot I make, I untie a knot within myself!”
Geraldine MartinI painted words in black on an old yellow brick – A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing , because of Lockdown. This brick was at the farm. The lines were from Ecclesiastes. I was really experimenting with what I could do with old bricks.
Aileen DurkanI used a symbol of the labyrinth as a means of self-exploration and reflection, a way to find stillness in the storm. 
Michael StaffordOut of necessity, my work was made in my house and not in my studio where there is no Internet coverage, so I decided to use my laptop to be creative on. With no preconceived ideas on what to do, I scrolled through my folder called collected images and found a photo of a magpie. I use the bird as a symbol often in my work, superstition, fear hope, I leave it to the viewer. So in Illustrator I quickly made the paths and layers to make an illustration of the magpie. I then set about making a back ground then followed it by more spontaneous images to build a small narrative maybe slightly ambiguous and open to interpretation. It looks fresh because I felt unrestricted by the fact that it wasn’t preconceived……
Sinead McCourtMedium :wet felt ,beads and threads 
This is a wet felted piece taken from a painting I did of a bouquet of flowers from a friends funeral I was compelled to capture, as there was so much joy in the flower’s colours at  time of such sadness. It’s something I keep coming back to and have been working on it for 2 years on and off I reminds me of my friend and brings me joy simultaneously 
Heather CassidyA hanging form depicting how we are contained, closed in, restricted and how nature is our cocoon. 
Bamboo. Mixed Media
Susan FarrellyI chose to work on a surface that was a collaborative artwork created (with Bernhard) in 2016 that contains the marks made by many contributors. On it I placed two handsewn soft sculptures used in Craobh Rua (Muirhevnamore), the fabric was co-created at the opening night of ‘Installations’ and digitally printed. In my practice I am interested in the layers of memories that can be created by making. Some materials disrupt. Mirrors reflect and gel filters alter the screen colour, analogue (painterly) interventions on the digital canvas of Zoom. The blue gel (successfully at 16mins in) reflected portions of the computer screen where everyone else’s making was visible. I’ve tried to create a multi-perspective, entangled portrait of places and makers, past and present. Built by the hands of AAEX. 
James McLoughlinMy piece was titled ‘life through the bell jar’ and was about how we live now in our confines and our projected/online lives are where we interact and live another life.  It was also about getting a second life out of a piece of work and bringing it to life with light and shadow play. 
Una CurleyI worked on a ‘Perfectly disordered contemporary sampler showing the alphabet for artists’ 
Caoimhe O’DwyerShadow and Light part II – Watercolour
The impermanence of the Japanese Maple through the window and how it casts and retracts shadows always fascinates me. As autumn turns to winter the Maple is at its brightest and most vibrant with the leaves seeming to hang by the barest threads until eventually an overnight wind yields bare branches one morning. To paint this I set a light above the table which allowed me to look obliquely and indirectly at the shadows and to line out their shapes.
Santa DrozdovaMy  evening project was to create a “2-meter-distancing” broomstick for sweets and Halloween face mask
Niamh HannafordI took my inspiration from an excerpt of text by James Joyce. “Pull out his eyes. Apologise”. 

For the second session on 11th November 2020 we chose to impose a colour scheme (blue and/or red) and let performance artist Niamh Hannaford play with peoples text/name tags and choreographing order of appearance by removing and re-admitting participants to re-arrange the screen layout. We also increased the work duration to 40 minutes. Participants enjoyed the aspect of just working alongside each other as absorbing and calming, but felt interrupted after 20 minutes.

Participant’s statments:

Niamh HannafordFor this session, I was the host. I took the opportunity to satirically play (considering the current world politics) with our chosen colours of BLUE and RED. During the Zoom, I found as many household items that were blue and red and displayed them on screen. 
Una CurleyTonight’s screen session was influenced by the US election Blue and Red wave that never happened! Transitioning my setting from blue to red and back to blue with the various palette mix in between using water, light and various objects.
Caoimhe O’DwyerThe Japanese Maple’s companion in the garden is the Cotinus (Royal Purple Smoke bush), which is very striking at this time of the year. Traditionally used in wreaths locally. Applying the red colour to shadow and light study, the red evokes the falling petals of a remembrance day poppy. ‘Remembering’ all those who lost their lives to Covid 19 on this remembrance day 11/11/2020. 
Bernhard GaulI overlaid a blue painting of mine with a Perspex sheet and painted on it with red Lino ink, wiping it away again later. Experiments with calligraphy type symbols overlaid on an existing painting.
Susan FarrellyWhere do I go when I make? In AAEX zoom making session 2 I travelled, yet never encountering my fellow travelers. Maps, diagrams, landscapes and figures appear from the Blue Place I pass through.
Catherine McCourtThis time, I wanted to comment on  the fundamentals and simplicity of making marks on paper. These days, we are conducting major aspects of our lives through digital media from shopping to social interaction and I want to acknowledge the physical world, through mark making. In my drawing,  I am depicting the simple pleasure one can get from everyday tasks like ‘bathtime’. 
Meilynn CheungMy clip was about freehand, digital lettering on Procreate (drawing app for iPad).  Just having fun with playing with words, making a clip on how simple and quick it is to throw together words and colour.
Jenny SlaterIn this zoom piece I wanted to explore colour to express emotion, the process of making it reminded me of the weather too and the idea of pathetic fallacy in poetry. I wasn’t very pleased with the final end product but enjoyed the process of ripping through the paper to expose hidden layers . Also the experience of being brought in and out of the zoom wait room at the control of another was a really interesting experience.
Michael StaffordWith the theme of  ‘red and blue’ I decided to use these colours in a graphic way, knowing that the two primary colours viewed together can give a visual distortion. I decided to use these to make a quick graphic using ‘photoshop’ to break the image down and ‘illustrator’ to build a design logo with the image. The effect is similar to the famous ‘love’ artwork of Robert Indiana. Yellow highlights were added over the red/blue to balance the two primary colours already used.
Heather CassidyInteraction between the sea and the land….where does it fall.
Jean MarshallRosary Linking – the traditional way of constructing Catholic Rosary Beads – whilst making the cross and each beaded link and joining together to make the Rosary I contemplated on the prayers I used to recite as a child in depth.