In October 2018, as part of the events marking the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific, two groups of artists from opposite sides of the world met to exhibit their works in collaboration at The Crypt Gallery in London. Artist group and ‘home’ team – Dialogue Collective – and ‘away’ team– HANDSHAKE– were mooring their creative boats side-by-side in The Crypt to discuss responses to ‘journeys’. These journeys are personal to the artists and include some thorny historical ones, like issues of cultural identity & appropriation, colonial legacy & guilt, land ownership & theft.
Both sides acknowledged the importance of objects as active tools for communication and each crew member explored their individual responses to themes such as voyaging, discovery, mapping, identity, navigation, baggage, trade, gifting, adornment, artifact, survival, own perspectives, and natural resources.
Both artist groups explored their differences, prejudices, grudges, and similarities in an open and welcoming collaborative environment. The outcome of this significant cultural exchange anticipated being one of mutual learning, understanding, and enlightenment with both parties moving forward whilst holding hands.
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