So what are you doing at the moment?
Melanie: We’re working on Stare Down. It’s the sixth in the Structured Chaos series. I think?
Ben: Yeah. Sixth. We’ve had Eiscape, The Scout, Ascension, Quarter Circle Punch, and the first piece which we actually called Structured Chaos.
M: That’s a bit confusing calling a piece Structured Chaos when the series is called Structured Chaos don’t you think?
B: But it works because it’s the only artwork which uses Melanie’s photograph and not mine.
M: And it’s the beginning of the chaos. The beginning of the structure. The beginning of…
B: Stuff. A merging of brain meat.
So how does that work then?
B: I give Melanie the photograph and the title of the artwork and she has the arduous task of cutting it all up. I get the easy job really.
M: No no. Ben puts in all the hard work in creating the photograph and dreaming up the clever words. I get the slow and relaxing process of cutting it up. I get the easy job really!
B: I suppose it depends on which way you look at it.
M: Either way, we talk about the process as it’s happening don’t we? I mean, I show you the progress I make whilst cutting and then we decide on what’s going well and what direction we feel it needs to take.
B: And it grows from there.
How is each artwork made?
B: There are multiple layers of my 12″ x 12″ photograph which Melanie cuts up to create a reworked version of the original.
M: We look at what layers should be prominent to form an interpretation of the picture.
B: It’s kind of like decoupage…
M:… but not because decoupage is where you layer up paper to decorate objects and we’re not doing that…
B: … and then it’s kind of like collage but not because there’s no glue involved.
M: So it’s an assemblage really. In the purest sense of the word. We’re assembling layers of hand-cut paper and that’s it really.
M: Then the layers are loosely fixed in each corner with paper fasteners with the option to disassemble and reassemble in any order whenever we fancy it.
How is Stare Down progressing?
M: Yeah. Slowly. I need to pull my finger out with the cutting.
B: *whip cracks*
M: I keep getting… We keep getting distracted…
B: Do we? Oh yes. Deep Dream…
M: Yeah. It keeps getting in the way. I’m still not sure what purpose this has in our art making but I’m sure it has one, otherwise I’m wasting valuable time where I should be cutting.
B: You should see what it’s done to the original photograph of Eiscape!
M: Show me show me show me. Woah! We definitely need to… I mean… Just yes!!!
B: See the problem we have here?
M: I still reckon this needs to be a separate series. There’s potential. Scope. Possibilities…
When will the Structured Chaos series be finished?
M: We’re aiming for Spring 2016 I think. How many of these are we making?
B: As many as it takes.
M: Yeah. We’ll be done when we think it’s done. It will be ready when we think it’s ready. I’m not sure how we’ll know…
B: … but we’ll know.
M: I’ll keep providing the chaos until Ben runs out of structure to give me.