'Parallel' - Kathryn Haug and Chloe Tupper
Early in 2013 the artists Kathryn Haug and Chloe Tupper were discussing how good it had been working alongside each other in the same studio space while at Curtin University. Although their art practices are dissimilar in many ways, there are also obvious links, and when working together they found themselves being influenced by each other’s ways of working. They came to a decision that it was worth the one and a half hour drive to get to each other’s work space, and agreed to take it in turns, once a fortnight, to paint together.
‘Once a fortnight’ soon evolved into once or twice a week and a large body of closely related work started to emerge. It became clear that these collaborative paintings should be exhibited together.
On a typical painting day they would spend some time discussing the previous week's work and deciding what to paint. The decision making often took a considerable length of time as they tried to merge their two different ideals for a still life. Kathryn tends to pick clearly structured and simply coloured objects, while Chloe often chooses patterns, detail and ambiguity. This meant finding a middle ground, and trying something different as well as challenging. Choosing the objects to paint also involved choosing the lighting, colours for the backdrop, and the exact positioning of the objects so that each of them had an acceptable view.
Finally they would begin painting, both always starting by mixing a selection of colours on the palette before anything was applied to the surface. This interest in observing colours is one of the main links between their two practices.
As the paintings progressed they would each run into different challenges and quiz each other for solutions or opinions. Seeing how the other person was approaching their painting of the object, colours, shadows and light often gave them new ideas when returning to their own work.
It was interesting for them to see at the end of the day how alike or dissimilar their paintings were, having painted from the very same piece of fruit, jar, or cloth. It is also interesting to look back on how their paintings have progressed and changed over the course of the year under each other’s’ influence.
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