Here is a selection of my pick of photographs from all the other exhibitions I visited that took place on the island of Bornholm that, combined, formed European Ceramic Context 2014. I didn’t manage to see all of them but the opening weekend itself was a whirlwind of criss-crossing the island attending one opening event after another, meeting friends, artists, curators, directors, collectors and students over and again. A hive of talent, excitement, activity and buzz!
While we were back on Bornholm, we paid a visit to Bornholm Art Museum, which is a real treat. A fabulous architectural gem set in a location with a stunning view over the Baltic. It is soon to be extended with a wing built especially to house a very recent gift of 300 sculptures from Denmark’s most famous living sculptor, Jorgen Haugen Sørensen, which we were privileged to see on the first day of opening.
While back there, I paid another visit to the European Ceramic Context 2014 Ceramic Art exhibition, this time in peace, in stark contrast to the opening event when there were hundreds of artists, curators and collectors milling around… this is my pick of the highlights of both exhibitions.
While I was in Copenhagen visiting artists and exhibitions, Joseph Young (my partner), artist activist and air council member, arrived to spend the last couple of weeks with me. He thought he was coming for a holiday but in actual fact ended up supporting me through a lot of driving and hard work! Such is the lot of 3D-artists’ partners I fear! Anyway we did have a few lovely stays in gorgeous places along the way.
First stop was a smallholding in the forest in Småland, south Sweden. The house was a treasure, albeit extremely rustic (no bathroom, no running water, compost loo). But I can see why these artist friends of mine moved there. Katja’s studio is a barn right in the middle of the woods with doors that bring the forest in and the inside out. One of the most beautiful lakes ever just an amble through the trees…
A few days later we crossed the Baltic Sea and arrived back on Bornholm for a brief stay to take the installation down from Rønne Library, hard work because I had gone for extra precautions in keeping the ceramics on the wall, i.e. several different adhesives, all of which worked very well! But get it off we did, however not without a few breakages. Next time I will be slightly less cautious perhaps!
Off on another ferry to Zealand and we spent one night at Guldagergård Ceramic Research Centre. The following day was spent packing up the hundreds of soda wood fired pieces that came out of the kiln. Unfortunately I didn’t even have time to absorb them, but a quick glance revealed that they came out even better than last time with more texture and colours and beautiful effects. It was an ambitious thing to fit in, doing a wood firing in the middle of having an exhibition, but I guess ambition and workaholism a successful artist make (correction: or attempt to make). Anyway it all got packed into the trusty artmobile up to the rafters again (so much for getting rid of 10 boxes of Danish ceramics).
And off we drove across the Storbælt, the bridge linking Zealand and Fynen and across the Lillebælt to Jutland ending up in Århus, Denmark’s second city. Lone Borgen, one of the artists in Fantastic Tales, had invited us to stay in her Koloniehave, another particularly Danish concept. This one was founded around the ideal of giving city dwellers a garden, so anyone who does not have a summerhouse (a very popular thing in Scandinavia) is eligible to have a koloniehave. A very good friend of mine in Copenhagen is lucky enough to have one and introduced the concept to me. It is a bit like allotments but rather than grow vegetables everyone has a chalet/cabin in a garden and many actually live there all summer in a wonderful communal environment. Very special. So I was excited about the prospect of Lone’s koloniehave and I was not disappointed. Very charming, as was Lone’s studio, a 3 story centuries-old former laundry, bang in the centre of Århus. She gave us a tour and we made sure we didn’t miss ARoS, Århus Art Museum, famous for Olafur Eliasson’s rainbow panorama, a sensory feast for the eyes.
From there we forged the furthest north I have ever been in Denmark, my first visit to Ålborg, to visit an old friend who was happily borrowing a Hansel and Gretel house in the woods. Yet again, wow! What a place! We lived a couple of days of enchantment there before heading south and out of Denmark, destination Berlin.
We spent a few days visiting friends and doing a bit of business and busy-ness (not much art or fun to be had this time unfortunately, but laying plans to start spending a lot more time in this wonderful city) before heading for the final stop of Amsterdam, where I managed to badly sprain my ankle within hours of arriving, completely scuppering my longed-for 3 days of “pure holiday” before hitting the ferry home. And it’s still not healed 3 weeks later. But hey, at least it didn’t happen at the beginning of my 6 week Scandinavian odyssey!