The Underwater Collective was formed in 2006 for framing an increasing body of collaborative drawing and painting created by a group of Hamilton artists. Sharing rent, laughs, materials and ideas, The Underwater Collective has developed a knack
for sharing space, which is evident throughout their work.
Collaboration is the premise for all The Underwater's work with their most common collaborations being of the "exquisite corpse" variety, often composed on the go, in transit, with friends, over/under coffee tables, on receipts, in diaries, anywhere the beat goes. Their work typically explores relationships between lo-fi culture and fine art. For the group mark making acts as a second language, a non-verbal conversation with the results resembling rhizomatic maps. Often appearing fractured or a bit of a mish mash the employment of their characteristically flexible directorial system allows for multiple non-hierarchical entry points to the reading of their works.
The Underwater Collectives expanding portfolio includes a colourful array of street work such as hieroglyphic chalk drawings and vinyl stickers, live performance painting, prints and posters, and also a large collaborative paintings for which members of the public, or school children for example are encouraged to contribute their piece to the collective construction.
For the exhibition at Ramp Gallery, The Underwater will bring new custom cut and
site-specific hanging work to Ramp to build "Mountain", a sculpture to be created on
site through the first 3 weeks of the exhibition.
Contributors to the collective vary from project to project, studio to studio. The collaborators for "Mountain" are contemporary jeweler and stencil maker Marama Mayrick, former WINTEC students Jared Benwell BMA(hons), Glen Leslie MFA, and current student painter Alister Selliman.
Two functions will punctuate The Underwater Collectives occupation, firstly an evening of live painting, drawing games and tea drinking on Friday 26 June, and finally a closing function Thursday 23 July will give the public a chance to see the finished work in festive finale.