I am delighted that Patrik at the Thielska Gallery has asked me to do my ‘Following Eugène‘ walk for them in conjunction with Jan Hietala’s exhibition Men At the Water. After the summer break it is great to have this event to bring my focus back to my work. As I cycle to and from work each day I rehearse the points that I want make and think about how to improve on the previous walk. I also find myself thinking about all the material that there is neither space nor possibility for on the walk and it crossed my mind that I could develop another performance to incorporate this.
Jan Hietala’s show at Thielska, which is described as a dialogue with Eugène Jansson, opened just after my installation at the bath-house and the first of the walks. It was actually Jan who suggested that I might do a walk for the gallery! He and I have very different, but perhaps complimentary, approaches to our practices and to Eugène’s legacy. I am very excited, and more than a little nervous, about presenting my piece in the context of a well established artist, curator/historian, and gallery.
I am thoroughly enjoying my work assisting Tim at his studio. He has asked me to work full-time until mid-October. This is fantastic and fits perfectly with my plans to be in London for Frieze and all the accompanying mayhem. Working with my hands everyday is wonderful, and Tim is a great and generous teacher. It is so interesting to see how he is turning the designer’s sketches in to three dimensional wearable pieces of sculpture (not that he would be comfortable with that word!). We are working on costumes for the new Mamma Mia project that will officially launch early next year. Just yesterday is struck me how amazing is it that I have ended up being involved (in a small but very direct way) with what is certain to become a significant event in Swedish musical and cultural history.
As late summer makes itself evident I am aware that my list of things to do this year, the long overdue website update for example, is far from being on track. In one of our lengthy Skype conversations Kim relied a statistic(?) that a friend and colleague (in art and craft development) told her: making art is only about 20% of an artist’s week. The other 80% is doing all things that enable that 20% to function. This is good for me to bear in mind when I come to spend an evening putting information together for my on-line presence rather than “actually making art”. This isn’t really a surprise, even back at art school in the 80s we were being drilled in documentation and presentation skills. My problem (“challenge”) is that these activities are less appealing than sinking my hands in to vats of glitter, or dreaming up epic installations and grand performances. However if I want to make my practice my profession then I have to treat it professional and that, I think, is not just about doing the fun bits but is also about doing the bits that can make it sustainable and serious. So as the evenings draw in I am setting myself these three challenges:
- Update www.stuartmayes.com
- Produce a Following Eugène booklet
- Research exhibition opportunities