Keeping up Momentum ‘Chain Reaction’ Collaborative workshop October 2021

Keeping up Momentum ‘Chain Reaction’ Collaborative workshop October 2021


Meeting of over 60 participants from different OCA disciplines. I was with Steve from the Drawing and Alison from the Painting pathways. We met online then communicated by Zoom and email to produce our work. This was part of the OCA ‘Keeping up Momentum’ series ‘Chain Reaction’ led by Brian Eccleshall and organized by Helen Rosemier.

Our Group

Alison MacPherson (Painting)

Steve Meyfroidt (Drawing)

Morris Gallagher (Photography)


We were given a choice of text in different languages. We chose Esperanto and translated it together in the first meeting – we had fun doing that and did not take it too seriously, but we were given a different translation to work on.


We decided to contribute what we could and used a padlet to develop the project although I counted 35 emails between us. I was away for most of this time.

I contributed photos from my archive and also some found images – I was channeling a ‘melancholy’ response to the translation. Sometimes I was reacting to the words in the translation and sometimes the tone of the piece

Alison created an audio reading of the text – our three readings layered together

Steve generated AI art of moving word images in colour which interacted together. I still don’t know how he did that. What it did do is make me aware of was of the reaction of the words to colours and the audio reading in the programme. I tried to make more of those relationships in the video juxtaposing words with image stills.

I created the film in PremierPro. My first version had ‘climate crisis’ images and sounds from flooding but that did not last long as I stuck to the brief. Alison created her own film with our images. We met and agreed on several things

  • We will use our own images and work as far as possible
  • The main focus will be Steve’s text and Alison’s audio 
  • I will try and make juxtapositions between image and text in the film – I will try and exaggerate that.
  • We agreed less soundtrack
  • We agreed to leave it loose and not impose a meta-narrative

There are several versions of the film. The 2nd film includes new still images from me, a new dripping sound, and a movie of the word ‘Gold’ melting. At the end of the film we agreed to put our learning in the presentation accompanied by images from the padlet. I was keen to include the padlet as I was thinking about how to use my padlet to submit my BOW.

FINAL film with learning
Images or sounds from other sources

Images: Andrew Wyeth, 1947. Wind from the Sea. National Gallery of Art. Accessed 21/10/2021

Audio: Unknown. 381650__beeproductive__dripping-tap. Freesounds. February 21st, 2017 Accessed 22/10/2921

Sneberbechev. 13/01/2020. 41 Chemin de sous le Crêt, 74390 Châtel, Francia – Scraping frozen ice Accessed 22/10/2021 Accessed 22/10/2021

My understanding is that these sources when referenced can be used in this student work.

Theory – Bryan

the original Solaris 1968 ( In Russian) if anyone wants to have a look

This idea is about mimoid forms.

I think that I will leave this idea for another time.

Final shows – notes

Zoe’s team: Some evocative juxtapositions of images and words held together by a Simon and Garfunkel track. Transitions clumsy and the words were isolated in the film; I’m not sure whether that was a good thing.

Bryan’s comments: I like the montage.

Jack’s team: Scrolling text (too much on one page) many sounds and images, illustrative and evocative. Excellent made images with silence and the sound of a train. Modern vibe.

Gesa’s team:

Excellent painterly representation – using mimoid forms (repetitive) influenced by Christopher Wool representations – several iterations of the images made. Using photocopying and layering – lots of experimentation and working with processes and material. Reference to Solaris as an example of mimoid forms.

Gill Holmes’ team:’ ‘Respirate’ – dark piece. Well-constructed.

Bob Coe’s team: Evocative Benjamin Britten music with graphics.

Our presentation: “It makes you listen more carefully, certain words pop out more than others thinking about the meaning and structure of language, grammatically and phonetically.” I think that the generated text by Steve was the best bit of this film and honored the brief too. 

Bryan: “We are often encouraged to keep things simple but sometimes packing lots in is very effective.

Nicolashead’s team: French audio and overexposed text and images creating a surreal fantasy world.

Sonia Boyce team: Interesting that people worked in different ways – some were more literal and some more interpretive. 

Debbie : Atmospheric story and music

A Christmas Tale: Fantastic film of our translation. Surreal and fantastical. (I am not sure that Brian approved of our liberal translation – and he communicated that – many people did more literal translations – playfulness was the vibe in our group and it helped produce a fine piece of work.

I did not make comments on all presentations

My Learning

  • A significant number of artists developed their work by getting straight into doing, sketching, and making. Normally I would work from theory and reading to produce art, but in my final BOW at L3 it has been a synergy of both. I think it will help me if I move more to trying to produce immediatly rather than too much reading and text.
  • Some artists, such as Steve in our group, are creating images in innovative ways – there are new things out there to admire or use or be influenced by. Collaborating with them was inspirational and I will do more of this.
  • I have been thinking about this idea of a generative process and using it on something I am working on now – a draft catalogue for my BOW exhibition.
  • I did use my strengths which did not stetch me, which was good as I am in the middle of annual long holidays and travelling a lot, but it reminded me of the power or a well constructed film.

Our learning

We reflected on our view of the process by email afterwards. Two of us shared our feeling that the theory was over elaborate and perhaps too structured with a prescriptive format. As a group we were more liberal in our approach and I think that the group that managed our translation did a fantastic job. We enjoyed the direction our work went in.