Venice Diaries: Mark and Anna’s creative collaboration

Mark Hicken is our current new graduate taking part in the Arts Council of Wales Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Invigilation Plus programme. As a part of the programme the invigilators have time to develop their own art work and so Mark is collaborating with the last CSAD invigilator Anna Rogers on their pieces. Over to Mark…

‘Anna Rogers, one of the previous WIV invigilators, used social media to invite people to participate in a collaborative work with her. Her project was to create work during the time in Venice in response to a certain topic she was given by her collaborator. For our collaboration, I asked Anna to respond to the topic of ‘me’. Having studied together for three years and become close friends I was interested to see how she would interpret that request.

‘Excitingly I would be receiving the work from Anna once she had returned home and I was out in Venice.

‘Through social media I have seen some of the results of Anna’s other collaborations for this project. All the responses I saw were two dimensional, either working directly over what they had received or cutting up and collaging the original work. I started to think about how I could respond to whatever I received.

‘Whilst I really liked the 2 dimensional responses I wanted to try use the work I received in a different way. The two-dimensional collaborations had a beautiful connection and interaction between both the artists’ elements. I thought about creating a sculpture out of what I received. I then thought about leaving the original work intact and making a response so both works existed separately but one would not be without the other.

‘Once I received the work from Anna my idea changed completely. I really liked the work I received and it would have been fun to create a sculpture in response to it but once I read the title I decided I wanted to create a video piece. ‘People watching’ gave me the idea of using lots of different found and first hand footage of groups of bodies, exploring the interaction between each other and their environment.

‘In her most recent installation work, Anna constructed an installation exploring if personal perception of a fragmented environment can be immersive within a gallery context. Integral to her work is her use of colour and geometric shape, I want to use organic shapes found in the crumbling exterior plaster of Venice’s buildings as filters and obstructions to the footage they will overlay. As part of the work Anna created, she wrote the latitude and longitude of a location in Venice where she often ‘people watched’. This idea of giving a location she often visited made me want to give a shout back to that concept.

‘I have started to record first hand sounds from my daily routine to incorporate into the video as an audio mapping of where I have visited.’