A body painting on the back of an older white man, that shows how fresh water carves out rock.


A story about collaboration, by Gwyn Jones

It was always going to be about relationships and context. I realise that now.

Khandiz – the artist, brought her creative process and perspective, and the question, and I – the canvas, brought my body and my vulnerability.

“Which of the 9 planetary boundaries do you want to choose?”.

“Water” I replied, without really understanding why at that point.

I was born in North Wales and I have childhood memories of waterfalls, fast flowing deluges that carved the hard, resilient rock into sumptuous smooth curves and sweeping gullies. The end product of a dynamic process, a relationship between two unlikely collaborators.

And the process started. Ideas emerged and were explored. The canvas, not so passive now, was becoming an active participant in the creative process.

I sat naked and Khandiz painted the flow of water on my back and then the second creative process could begin. Moving my back, shoulders arms and head she created gullies and surfaces for the river to flow through and over. Experimenting, playing with light and shadows to enhance an effect.

I had originally thought the result would be about water and its role in life on our planet, but it was more than that. It’s about process and relationships.

Water. Water and rock. River and river-bank. Waterfalls and gullies. People and water. People and planet. Life and water. Shadows and light. Artist and canvas. Art and nature. Gaia. Sustainable Development Goal 17 – partnership.

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