The process is simple. Dear Everybody is curated by Melody Paloma, who hooks up a writer and a visual artist to collaborate, back and forth, to create a new work.
“I like to think of it as a creative conversation,” says Paloma. “I’m trying to move away from that traditional model, where you have a writer responding to a visual work. This goes both ways.”
These collaborations are happening constantly, and a new project goes up via Instagram every fortnight. While it’s been going for some time already online, this year the project will turn into a fully fledged live event at The Emerging Writers’ Festival. “There are five projectors set up looping over 15 collaborations,” says Paloma. “And five live readings. For the visual side, there’s no limit to form. It covers sculpture, photography, illustration, painting … anything.”
Newell has also brought 14 older collaborations off the web and onto a series of cards, bundled together in a box set, which will be on sale at the event.
And don’t think that whatever happens at the event tonight is the end of it. The unpredictability of the project engages the artists and writers as much as the audience, and Newell says some collaborations have extended way past the initial project.
“Before they start, people will often have an artist or writer in mind,” says Paloma. “But I like to pair people with someone they wouldn’t normally work with. I’m interested in people doing new things, things they wouldn’t normally do.”