This Friday, Woodriver Studios is hosting Embraced In Thought; a collaborative exhibition between visual artist Liz Pike and poet Jonathan McCallum. The exhibition focuses on the concept of memory – examining its nature, bias, and fluidity.
Both Pike and McCallum created a handful of pieces for the exhibition, before exchanging them and allowing the other to create a piece the builds off the original. These responses create an exhibition that flows naturally between the two mediums.
It’s not the first time that the pair have worked together in this capacity; both appeared in local arts publication The Line – when Pike responded to one of McCallum’s pieces.
“Liz hadn’t told me that she was responding to [my] piece, and I didn’t know until the day I saw it that that’s what was happening” McCallum explains. “Which was pretty lovely.”
“It was a really beautiful process, and Jon’s reaction to seeing the work was so beautiful and overwhelming” says Pike.
“It felt really beautiful to collaborate between the two different mediums. I guess I felt we could try and do that on a larger scale and see where it developed.”
Pike and McCallum have been working on the exhibition for several months, allowing the ideas to flow and transform. The pair sent each other early drafts, helping their works to inspire and define each other.
For example, both artists explore family and genetic memory in a series of pieces; with Jonathan McCallum utilizing blackout poetry, while Liz Pike worked in mixed media – adding new meaning to old photographs.
“That one is one of my favourites at the moment.” Pike explains. “I wrote the influences behind why I made it, and [McCallum] hit me back with his experience and what was informing his piece. I felt like they were really interlinked with my experiences growing up, and my dad as well.”
“That was a nice unexpected commonality.”
Embraced In Thought will be launched at Woodriver Studios on Friday, March 30th. The show will also feature Brisbane based musician Keeskea; the side project of Sleepclub’s Vanessa Marousopoulos. The pair have also hooked up with Banshee and No-Fi Collective to help present the event.
“Banshee, specifically Cait Dempsey and Holly Farrell, have been really instrumental in helping us get it off the ground.” McCallum explains.
“They were really excited by the concept and wanted to kind of throw their weight behind it, which has been awesome for us…and the fact that they’re willing to be guides for us small babies going through this exhibition process is fantastic.”
Liz Pike works as part of No-Fi Collective’s roster of artists. She helps create art and branding for No-Fi’s many events – but has also found a sense of community with the group. Something she says has influenced her trajectory as an artist.
“On a practical level – I have no graphic design knowledge, and am not very good with that at all. Working with those guys, particularly Angus [Bowen] has been a massive help in how to translate artworks into posters” Pike explains.
“…having three other people who have really different styles but are really invested and interested in art; to be able to bounce off and send ideas is really valuable…there is a piece in a series of portraits I have done relating to when the art team when to White Rabbit Gallery.”
“Just the memory of this glowing neon sign reflecting back on the team has really stuck with me. I think that piece is in there to kind of represent the influence of that relationship – for me as an artists, and just the friendship as well.”
Exhibition In Thought by Liz Pike & Jonathan McCallum launches as Woodriver Studios on Friday, March 30 from 6:00pm until 8:30pm – featuring a live performance by Keeskea (QLD). The exhibition is open for viewing (10:00am until 2:00pm) on Saturday March 31, and Sunday April 1.