One of the most difficult things for artists to do, is to collaborate, working on the same pieces of art together, to create something different together. Often different styles and methods.

On Fridays, when I print with other artists at the Artist Proof Studio, I work with a wonderful young man called Ben Mpande, who for the artists coming to work there, is the studio artist support manager.

Ben is a fourth year student at the APS and one day asked if I would be willing to collaborate with him.

Well, I was blown over! It’s not the first time one of the students have asked, and most times, I am flattered but I do not take up the offer. Mostly, because I am not sure that my printing is up to scratch, and I feel somewhat shy, or I wonder if they are serious.

This time however, I thought that it would be a fantastic way for me to loosen up, let go of my ego, see what happens. Ben’s work is about the Immigrants from the rest of Africa and how they find Johannesburg and any other city for that matter. He uses images of fish as a metaphor for the immigrants. Ben Mpande‘s work is here on Instagram.

As our collaboration, we decided Ben would create backgrounds, then I would add shoes as the metaphor I have for immigrants in Joburg, often tatty shoes which walk the streets endlessly in search of work, food or a place to live. As a final step Ben would add the fish imagery. The images below are just some of those which we have started working on together. Here are some of the works in progress.

Ben has added some fish to a few of these prints and I will add them on Friday.

Such an exciting project!

Published by Beth McAlpine

Print & Fine Artist

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