Collaboration is such a key part of our work at FrancisKnight – underpinning everything that we do and are about.
Published date: 18 April 2023
Indeed, our whole business is based on a close working partnership between the two of us, Louise and Laura, as Founding Directors.
Having first worked together through a job-sharing role in a local authority arts team, we set up FrancisKnight to enable us to work with a diverse range of Project Partners including housing developers, architects, design teams, social housing providers and local authorities and of course artists and the wider public. Every project is truly unique and we love collaborating with so many different people every day.
This month we released our latest podcast episode, the last in the current series – featuring a conversation with not one, but two guests who are working in partnership with us on a major new commission in the heart of Medway. Artists Nicole Mollett and José den Hartog joined us for a wide-ranging and laughter-filled conversation. It was great to have José dialling in from The Hague, making her our first international guest, extending the reach of our conversation across borders. We touched on so many topics, and it was particularly interesting to get an artist’s perspective on the work we do as public art consultants.
Nicole spoke about how diplomacy and political awareness are key to our role ‘translating languages’ as she sees it, between artists and commissioners of public art, as we navigate the balance between pushing boundaries and working within constraints of specific projects.
Trust is of course key to any successful partnership and this theme also came up in the discussion as we talked about how important it is to have confidence in artists to bring their unique talent and vision to a project, giving them freedom to create.
At FrancisKnight, we believe that the success of great public art is down to the team that delivers it. Our joint commitment to working in collaboration with commissioners and project partners ensure the whole process runs smoothly and delivers the best possible value for money.
We are always guided by our core principles, to make places better by working with artists. Our mission is about connecting people, celebrating place and creating public art while being engaging, creative, valued, curious and courageous.
Our tried-and-tested project management process, which follows the RIBA Stages of Work gives us a robust and clear structure to enable the creative process to flourish as we steer the team, facilitating, sharing, developing partnerships, encouraging new ways of seeing and connecting people.
Creating brave, ambitious, thought-provoking art and moments of joy requires deep listening and being open-minded to challenge perceptions through creative conversations. Ultimately, as we develop our working relationships, this allows us to make meaningful and lasting contributions. As Nicole and José said in the podcast, this enables the artists we work with to create a real legacy that will be enjoyed by many for years to come.
We hope you enjoy listening to this episode and would love to hear how you make creative collaborations work over on our LinkedIn page.