Artist A & Artist B
Artist A & Artist B is the collective working name for artists Dr Jackie Haynes and Dr Heather Mullender Ross. They met at the Merz Barn, Cumbria, in 2016, through their mutual interest and individual research projects into the work of artist Kurt Schwitters, and in 2023 they were awarded their practice-based PhD’s from University of Cumbria and Newcastle University respectively. In 2018 they collaborated on a performance entitled ‘Dinner for Three’ and thereafter established a more formal creative partnership, undertaking an ongoing and expansive project entitled ‘S.O.I.’ (Statement of Intent) (2021-).
Their collaborative approach to making and researching cites the artistic exchanges between Kurt Schwitters and Raoul Hausmann, who continually worked across disciplines, genres and mediums to envisage new modes of artistic expression.
Artist A & Artist B’s current project can be described as a series of open-ended, mobile, site responsive and performative art forms. The work coheres around the purchase of a decommissioned MOD cargo parachute, dismantled and re-imagined to accommodate different environments and situations. The fragmented parachute is deliberately unresolved, continually expanding and open to change. The art forms combine multiple perspectives, voices and languages to strategically respond to the notion of contextual reconfiguration and to engage with international institutions and audiences. Performance is often at the heart of the work, operating as a shared language and activating principle in the negotiation of materials, ideas and as a response to particular environments and contexts. The work is at times participatory, inviting the engagement of audiences and thematically revolving around exploring the idea of hospitality. The notion of a hospitable environment is mobilised by the artwork through shared experience and re-thinking the function of everyday objects and domestic activity.
During their residency at Artlab, Artist A & Artist B have printed directly onto the large-scale pieces of parachute fabric. They have created a limited edition poster, a performance entitled Dada Aperitivo at the Tabula Rasa for Dadameno festival, Italy (2022), and a series of picnic blankets. The blankets will be installed at Towneley Hall (Burnley, East Lancashire), as part of their commission The Surplus Badge for the British Textile Biennial 2023.