What collaboration means

Many years of collaboration with Jane Fordham began at different stages, but perhaps consciously when she was putting a series of monoprints together for an exhibition in France. She asked me for an opinion on what sequence they could be displayed in. I went to her house and the prints were so powerful I wanted to write. The monoprints eventually produced the poem Forest Choir as I sent her ideas and she responded. 
Dark falling from Forest Choir
monoprint by Jane Fordham
We carried on our collaboration for a while at Chesworth Arts Farm, a studio Jane and her husband David Parfitt had established in Horsham. It was a beautiful, inspiring place but the costs of keeping it going were prohibitive. However, Jane and I went there several times to work and one memorable period of joint working produced the sequence of poems about menopause that became Sweats. We are still collaborating and refining what it means to the way we work. Sometimes it is merely a matter of sharing a table at Jane's house, sometimes ideas but what appears to be so important is that we are working with different materials - Jane with images, me with words - and somehow this allows us to collaborate in a very different way since we are also learning about one another's medium. 
Peter Sansom of The Poetry Business and John Davies
of PigHog press at Chesworth Arts Farm, Horsham for a
weekend poetry workshop

At the core of our collaboration is conversation and ideas - not ekphrasis, not illustration but sharing sources, themes and finding ways to create new work by using the times and spaces we work in as springboards. 

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