FOR JUNE ATKIN SANDERS AND TIMOTHY WYLLIE
June and I started our collaboration in the mid-eighties when June recognized
some pictograms I’d included in my book Dolphins, Extraterrestrials
& Angels as telepathic glyphs and wanted to animate them. June had
been teaching herself computer graphics since it had first became available
and had mastered the early technology to the extent that she was teaching
it professionally . She was able to reproduce the pictograms in slowly
changing, beautifully hued, cycle-animations, deepening their meaning
and turning them into exquisite visual mantras.
“Painting with light,” as June used to call it.
This led to an ambitious plan to turn one of my children's’ stories
about the emergence of the Goddess into a short animated video. Over the
years of working with these primitive paint programs we produced a number
of interesting and provocative images, some of which we turned into an
intriguing line of greeting cards. Unfortunately, we also found ourselves
frustrated by the shortcomings of the available software to adequately
illustrate the children’s book as we had originally conceived it.
This gradual discovery was paralleled by changes in the computer business
wherein large companies swallowed smaller ones, multiple-orphaning the
original computers and their users.
This discouraging situation ultimately provoked June back to drawing
by hand and soon we were finding we were able to work on the same piece
simultaneously, each one of us drawing into and around the work of the
other, to produce a coherent image that was as unplanned as it was unexpected.
Starting in 2002 we’ve now taken our collaboration to a new level
by producing a series of graphics celebrating the female principle. Since
we live in very different parts of the country this is accomplished by
sending the graphic back and forth, each of us adding elements until the
visual narrative is complete. Both of us work in pencil and dry pigments,
but with very differing techniques as to the way we lay down color. Over
time, however, we’ve learnt to integrate our two styles into a seamlesswhole,
with the final image emerging fully from our collective vision.
Although both of us carry on creating works on our own, our collaborative
enterprise continues to stimulate both of us to dig deeper into the World
Mind to find and explore images of female power and compassion that reconcile
as they mystify.