Back in London again …. and it feels foreign

When I was travelling yesterday I had the distinct impression that I was leaving home (Stockholm) to visit London. Over the last year more of my day to day life has been in Stockholm than in London so I guess it’s not really a surprise (being the last one to ‘get it’ is something of a theme in my life).

I’m going to start looking at how best to arrange things. Some of the timing depends on selling my flat because until that happens I don’t have much money. And from the local estate agents windows it looks like I won’t have that much money after the sale and paying off debts, so I have to get it right.

I hope to sell in the new year and to move not later than Easter. Ideally I want a studio as soon as I arrive, not least so that I have somewhere to put things. My plan is shed as much household stuff as possible and to take as many artworks and materials as possible. Perhaps there is also something about having a studio that will ground me when I arrive in this new place. A studio will be a declaration to myself that I am there as an artist, it will be a declaration to myself that I AM HERE! The studio will be own place – I think I will really need it.

This morning I received an invitation to the opening of Martin Gustavsson’s show at the Swedish Embassy – it made me smile. I love my growing relationship with Sweden!


PLAY opened very well!

I’m really pleased with the opening. It was a lovely afternoon and I’m delighted that so many people came. Everyone enjoyed themselves and I got very good feedback – so it was a success all round!

After being away from London for so long and not attending many friends’ openings I was nervous that I’d dropped off people’s radars – I needn’t have worried. It was good to catch up with people.

On the last day of the show Bryan Mulvihill – will host a ‘tea-party’ in the gallery. Bryan is a good friend of Michael, and I met him two years ago when we were in Norway for Michael’s Golden Rain project. Bryan’s World Tea Party events have been held all over the world in all kinds of venues, I’m looking forward to see how it works with my installation. Bryan and I had a brief conversation and he’s thinking of doing something with “dancing tea” which is a particular kind of Japanese tea with leaves that “dance” in the water – it sounds wonderful …

In the meantime I’ve a week in Stockholm.

web search on World Tea Party…


Installing PLAY at Moca …

I left the gallery this afternoon. I’m really pleased with how it looks.
At 4.9 x 3.7 x 0.2 meters it’s the largest single piece I’ve ever made.
Michael saw it today for the first time – I’m delighted with his reaction – “Great!”

It’s taken almost six days to install it. I wasn’t expecting to take so long but after day one I knew it was going to be a long process. . Unspooling the tape then measuring and cutting it took a surprisingly long time. Hanging and securing the lengths of tape is far quicker. It’s amazing quickly three hours worth of tape can be hung, it’s also amazing how little ‘horizontal space’ it covers.
I’m very grateful that Roberto (Michael’s assistant) helped me with the measuring and cutting.

The repetitiveness of the work gave me a lot of time to think. I found myself thinking around the piece – thinking about how it can be approached from so many different directions: academic, aesthetic, sexual, social.

The piece works well in the gallery – it ‘sits’ very well. I should remember that other installations have been successful too – successful in terms of their relationship to their particular locations. I like making installations, I like placing objects in space, perhaps that’s why I’m a bit uncomfortable calling myself a sculptor (though I’m even more uncomfortable with “installation artist”).

The show is about 95% ready – I have to sort out some lighting. Although one whole wall of the gallery is glass (frosted) if the weather is less than sunny additional lighting is necessary. I also realised that the show closes the first week of October and by then it will be considerably darker by 6pm.

I’m extending a warm invitation to blog readers –
The opening is Sunday 19 September 2-4pm
Moca, 113 Bellenden Road, London SE15 4QY