It could be something real magical: a conversation with Susan Pasowicz and Allison Wade
Allison Wade is a local Chicago artist who has been working collaboratively with Susan Pasowicz, an artist at the Arts of Life Chicago studio, for almost 9 months now. Ariella Miller, Arts Coordinator at the Chicago studio, recently sat down with them to talk about their collaborative work and process.
Ariella Miller (AMM): How long have you two been working together?Allison Wade (AW): I think we started last summer?
Susan Pasowicz (SLP): I think so.
AW: Nine months, maybe longer.
AMM: What is your process like?
AW: We work well together. How do we get started?
SLP: What to do next.
AW: Do we talk about it or do we just draw at the same time?
SLP: I don’t know.
AW: I feel like we each choose colors and then work on the drawing together and fill in the spaces. If you make a shape I’ll draw around it. If I make a shape you’ll fill it in.
SLP: First you show them and then explain the facts how you want it done. However they like the thing to turn out.
AW: When we start we don’t know what the finished piece will be. We don’t plan it out in that way
SLP: It becomes imaginary. Something could become out of it. It could be something real magical. Or a feeling, like when you have feelings about something. When you look at the picture the feeling will come to you.
AW: Are you thinking of those feelings when we’re drawing?
AW: I like what you said about it being magical. Sometimes it feels magical to me. Sometimes it feels happy, sometimes it feels tired
SLP: As long as it doesn’t make you feel sad. A lot of times when you look at what we made it makes you smile and feel happy.
AW: I think we’re trying to make art that allows people to feel happy when they look at it. I think we do that through color. A lot of times we choose colors that are bright
AW: Last week you were into the dark colors. You had a headache last week, that makes sense
AMM: What do you like about collaborating with each other?
SLP: I find it fun.
AW: Yeah me too!
SLP: And joyful. I like working with Allison because she’s joyful.
AW: I agree, I think Sue is easy to work with and very kind.
SLP: We like coffee. (both laugh)
AW: Sometimes we’ll just talk when we’re working, other times we’re quiet. It’s just kind of easy.
SLP: We like to chat with each other. When we have problems we talk about it.
AMM: What themes are present in your work?
SLP: Sometimes you could make it darker, or lighter. It looks better this way because it brings out the satisfaction in the whole picture the way it is.
AW: Composition choices. Thematically I think we both tend towards shapes and forms. Theme of form and how things fit together. We usually work on a drawing until every space is covered. Everything has to flow into one another.
AMM: How is your collaborative work different from your individual practices?
SLP: It’s different because when you work together we can talk together about what to do next or put down on the paper next. When I’m doing it by myself then I concentrate more.
AW: I agree there is a freedom in collaboration. Some of the pressure is shared. The decision making is shared so there is more freedom. I’ll respond to something you do, you respond to something I do. It makes room for surprises
AMM: Has the collaboration changed your individual practices?
AW: I haven’t figured out how yet, I haven’t been working as intensely on my own practice. In that way it’s been great because I’m doing work here (at AoL) and my individual practice is in a transition stage. I’ve been glazing ceramics lately and I have noticed things have gotten a lot denser, every area has to be touched or covered.
SLP: I think more about what to draw next. If you put it together its like your own original.
AW: your work seems to have less obvious objects. You’re not really drawing suns as much, it’s more about shapes and colors.
SLP: Before I used to draw flowers.
For more information about Sue’s work click here.
To visit Allison’s website click here.