Collaboration and Creation through X-Practice Project: An Interview with Colleen Alcorn
This summer, 12 artists collaborated both virtually and in-person as part of X-Practice Project, hosted by interdisciplinary artists Alex Ricci, Monika Hauk, and Todd Harrison. This project resulted in the creation of multiple collaborative works, one of which is being permanently installed in the stairwell of 10C in September. We chatted with one of the artists, Colleen Alcorn, to get a peek into her process and experience.
Tell us about X-Practice and yourself!
“X-Practice was a project brought together by three mentors, Alex, Monika, and Todd. Artists ages 15-21 met virtually and planned something to create together. We then had this intensive workshop week to brainstorm and build an installation. It was a great opportunity. We also went over the basics of establishing yourself as an artist, so not only was it a big collaborative project, but also a source of information.”
“My name is Colleen Alcorn. I’m a 21-year-old, queer, non-binary Guelph-based artist. I am interdisciplinary, doing a large variety of things ranging from sculpture, to drawing, to performance works. I like to dabble in everything; I just really like to create. I’ve been focusing on linework and installation sculpture, trying to approach art in a child-like mind frame, free from social boundaries.”
What was it was like collaborating with other artists, and what did you contribute?
“It was difficult at first to come up with a concept because we were meeting on Zoom, and it was artists from different experience levels and passions, but the X-Practice facilitators did a great job of setting up spaces to brainstorm and pool in our different skills and ideas. We decided to focus on past, present, and future. We created something for N/A Gallery, and made an “X-Pod”, which was 4 large plywood panels in an ‘X’ that we installed in a park.”
“Artist Sylvie Stojanovski and I took the lead role of the X-Pod. We made a line drawing map of Guelph on the large panels, and other artists painted on smaller panels to depict the past, present, or future, of certain locations on the map, which were then adhered to the X-Pod. Alongside these projects, there were a couple people who created a great soundtrack to go with the work.”
Why is installation important to your practice and how did it come into play?
“I’m drawn to installation because it makes more than just a visual experience and creates something the viewer has to interact with, whether they know it or not. Another thing I’ve been focusing on, is the spaces between things, whether that’s objects, people, or lines. I find it’s a more enriched experience when you are physically closer to the work rather than viewing it on a page. I also play with that idea in my linework. I love experimenting with the positions of black and white lines to create tension and repetition.”
“The X-pod was a one-day installation, and I’m excited to install it permanently at 10C! We were working at 10C during the in-person week, so there’s this additional conversation of a piece existing in the space it was made.”
What is the value in collaboration and community for you?
“It’s a huge part of being an artist, especially the community aspect. I think if we were just one person in the world, there would be so much less to create. Having people, places, and experiences to collaborate with enriches our experiences. It gives you ideas and skills you would never have by yourself. It’s a wonderful life skill I think everybody should experience. I also love collaborating with not just people but places, objects, animals, nature; anything that we don’t control. For example, with the X-Pod, I felt like I was collaborating with the landscape of Guelph.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
“People should go see it once it’s up (Covid-depending)! Thank you to the facilitators and all the artists who participated in X-Practice. It was such a great experience.”
To learn more about Colleen, her tattoo work can be found on Instagram at @cardboardintelligence and her other artwork, mixed with touches of her personal life can be found at @collzzn. For more information about the project, visit the X-Practice Instagram.
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