It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Klas and Lovisa this morning. Lovisa actually invited me to meet with them after I briefly mentioned an idea that I had when we bumped in to each other outside of the library a week or so ago.

We discussed two projects as well as my thoughts on how best to develop and strengthen an artists’ network in the borough. The idea (which I had already spoken about with Lovisa) is perfectly timed as it requires only modest economic investment and the Swedish financial year runs the same as the calendar year – which means that there is not much left but what is left has to be spent!

The idea, which is two-fold, is inspired not least by the Meter Square Gallery in south London. Ken Taylor and Julia Manheim created a meter square street-facing window on the ground floor of their home/studio/architectural practice and programme temporary exhibitions and events there. I showed with them during London Open House in 2009 and it is actually that piece that I proposed to Lovisa and Klas this morning. There is a large and unused window on the left-hand side of the library and cinema complex and I thought that it would make a great exhibition space, so my idea was that Go-Go should be installed there and launch it as a kind of ‘project window’.


Go-Go is perfect for the space and time of year, or perhaps the space and time of year are perfect for Go-Go. I am certain that the “light splatter” will play across the vast white wall of the cinema building opposite, and as the hours of daylight become shorter and shorter an art work that lights up the dark seems very fitting indeed. It is very unfortunate that the condition of the buildings around the defunct fountain has been allowed to deteriorate while the council engage in prolonged discussions about renovation, demolition, and everything between these extremes. One of my ambitions is, of course, to draw attention to the stylish (if not exactly radical or daring) architecture of these 1960s buildings. I would hate to see these fantastic and functional buildings torn down for no reason. So one aspect of my project that goes beyond showing my own work is an attempt to re-activate the space and to engage people with it and the possibilities that it offers.

The project window will give artists the possibility to show work on a modest scale, and hopefully it will appeal to those looking for experimental or ‘alternative’ ways of thinking about an exhibition. The window’s accessibility is great – anything showing there is visible all day every day, this significantly increases the public’s opportunity to see art and avoids any issue of having to cross thresholds or open gallery doors to see art. We even discussed inviting artists to show there and using the window as another way of putting Enköping on the artistic map.

It is all very exciting, and I am delighted that Lovisa and Klas are so keen on the idea. I suddenly have quite a lot of work to do as we have agreed that Go-Go and the project window will be launched in conjunction with other first advent celebrations on Sunday 27th November.

The meeting re-confirmed for me that the social aspect of my practice is essential to me, and that although I might like the idea of having a commercial gallery I really want my work to engage with a wide audience and for it to be a part of the discussion of how we experience our everyday world … in other words I am simply continuing with what I started just about 30 years ago – Art and Social Context.



M2/ Meter Square Gallery


After being at the launch / vernissage on Thursday I am both inspired and envious! Why? Because he gets on and does what he does, he makes it happen – if there is one thing that I never quite seem to have grasped it is how to make things happen. I do not mean the small things that I can alone can make happen, I mean the big things that I need help and support with – though while writing this I realise that perhaps even the small things are beyond me, or out of my reach. I simply do not know how to function in the professional art and museum worlds, and for this reason Benny and Patrik Steorn’s (short) presentation of the project and how they came to know each other was very interesting and inspiring. Their ‘getting to know each other’ took several years, and resulted in what I think Nicholas Logsdail (Lisson Gallery) referred to many years ago as a ‘professional friendship’. Sitting here now, it is interesting for me to recall how each of their accounts told of them each doing what they do – a curator curating, and an artist making art – and reaching a fantastically creative meeting place where their collaboration is evidenced in a wonderful new art work. The piece itself, an artistic audio-guide to several works in the museum’s collection, resonates with many discussions that Kim and I have had over the years.

Interludes / Mellanspel



Because of my own interest in Eugène Jansson, my looking at Neil Bartlett’s performance work, and even thinking about Michael Petry’s use of myth, I am beginning to wonder about the way in which gay male artists engage with history. I cannot quite put my finger on it (and perhaps that is not what I should be attempting to do) but there is a certain tone, attitude, language that exists in these works. It is something that I want to explore further and might well do as part of developing and extending Following Eugène.



At a few minutes before 3:22pm (central European time) yesterday I put my British passport along with the printed and signed copy of my online application for Swedish citizenship in to the post.

Yesterday marked five years, to the day, since the Swedish Immigration office granted me on-going permission to live and work in Sweden based on my coming from another European Union country. Since the UK’s EU membership referendum result was announced I have been waiting for October 13 in order to make my citizenship application. My British passport will be returned to me (it is simply needed as part of the process) and unless there is a truly unforeseen problem I should be granted Swedish citizenship sometime in the next couple of months.

The immigration services here have not yet said what they are going to do about UK citizens living here once Article 50 is invoked. However the immigration service is well known for sticking to the letter of the law (even if they acknowledge that the law may be clumsy or plain wrong – they argue in such cases that it is the legislation that needs to be amended rather than them who should bend the rules. They are very clear that it would be wrong for them to take the law into their own hands). As I have read that as soon as the UK invokes Article 50 the country will no longer be a full and regular member of the European Union, I therefore assume (though have not been able to have it confirmed) that my permission to live and work here would be ‘questionable’ at best (and could be immediately revoked at worst).

I encourage all UK artists who are already (permanently) living in other European countries and who do not already have dual citizenship to investigate their options sooner rather than later. I believe that Sweden is like many other European countries in that it recognises dual nationality, as does Britain. However I am also aware that Sweden has one of the shorter qualifying period – some countries require that citizens from other lands have been resident for eight years.

While it might be somewhat re-assuring to try and believe UK politicians who propound Britain’s negotiating power and their abilities to secure the best of both worlds (being outside of the EU but retaining all the benefits), from here it seems that many European counties and EU leaders are less than enamoured with the UK and are taking a hard line – out means out. (Donald Tusk’s Brussels speech must make uncomfortable listening for those expecting something close to business as usual.)

No matter the precise details of future movement of people and/or goods between Britain and the European countries I think that it is fair to assume that it will be considerably different from that which we have gotten used to. Unlike large global corporations and established cultural/educational institutions who have personnel and HR offices geared up for assisting with appropriate visas and permissions, and finance departments that are already well versed in dealing with trade with non-EU countries, I can imagine that smaller arts organisations (and individual artists) are going to endure a long period re-adjustment and learning. I am of course concerned about how this will impact on their work and programmes as they (and we artists) are not in positions to recruit additional staff, so all of the hours spent coming to terms new ways of working will have to be drawn from existing schedules.

On a very personal note it struck me that I will most likely need to find a new European glitter supplier (rather than the wonderful Flint’s just off the Walworth Road in south London) to avoid very complicated and time consuming paperwork and tax declarations. And that I might also be forced to stop working with my friends David and Lucy for my website – which will be a very sad day indeed.


Hopefully some of my anxieties will be allayed over the coming months. No matter what happens having Sweden citizenship will enable me to vote in general elections – which considering that this is where I live, work, and pay my taxes makes good sense!


And now … it is time to go and do something practical – what a perfect way to spend the later half of a Friday afternoon!


I am ten days in to a new way of working – posting a daily image on instagram. Eventually there will be 98 images in the series. Each image is a photograph of a monoprint taken directly from my body. The idea started in discussion with friends about building significance through accumulation, duration, regularity, and the like. With the first of October approaching it seemed appropriate to begin on the first of the month, and over the few days leading up to the first print it dawned on me how what started as a somewhat frivolous notion could actually be a very useful way of developing (or at the very least contributing to) the next chapter of Following Eugéne.

Each print is made with the same simple materials: water-based blue pigment, and blank postcard/correspondence card. What I have realised, with the shortening autumn days, is that I do not have any ‘white light’ at home – there is a distinct yellow tinge to the pictures taken under artificial lighting. The question is whether to do something about this or not – and this leads me to wonder about the status of these posted images: are they documenting a working process, or are they images in themselves? Or perhaps I should be wondering if there are even such distinctions to be made. If preparatory work is made public, especially without it being overtly named as such, then I guess that I should be presenting as good as picture as possible and this means getting my white balances and lighting sorted out.

I am enjoying the daily routine of making these images and look forward to seeing how things progress over the next 88 days. Since making the decision to connect this work with Following Eugéne (visually through the colour blue, and textually through the hashtags,) I have begun to think around how the next installment might be – what form it might take and what components it might include.


Last week I spent three half days setting up Brief Encounter for inclusion in Enköping’s Höstglöd culture weekend. Klas (arts development officer) had managed to get keys for what had been the restaurant/nightclub in the cinema/library complex. The venue has been empty since the council bought the previous leaseholder out of their contract in anticipation of demolishing the whole building several years ago. Demolition is no longer immanent though it is not entirely off the cards – it is just part of the frustrating situation concerning several council buildings that are too much to go in to here and now. Klas was using the space to prepare and store several of the pieces for the weekend show. It is shocking how so much space can just be left empty, Klas has ambitions to see it used as a flexible exhibition/performance/project venue, possibly even with studios and workshops (though this would require a great deal of work to optimise the somewhat limited access to natural light). Being there was a good reminder that we need to get on with our proposal to the council for support with studio provision in the town.

It is eight years since I first presented Brief Encounter, at that time it was less than a year after John’s death and the piece was very emotionally charged for me. It felt good and right to unpack it again and to realise that there was no longer the same intensity of feeling attached to it. Of course I thought about John, his illness, his life, our life, while I was securing the tracks, laying the glitter, and perhaps most of all when I began to run the model trains. I wrote the following text to accompany the piece:

Two pale blue toy locomotives circle around two circular silver tracks. Around and around they go. At a certain point the tracks come close to each other and every so often the trains approach this near point at the same time. When this happens the trains, for a few seconds, are side-by-side and very close of one another. The moment passes and each train continues on its own journey.

Imagine that the two trains represent two individuals – each on their own life’s journey; two individuals whose lives momentarily come very close to each other.

Brief Encounter was conceived shortly after the death of the artist’s partner. The piece uses playful metaphor and symbolism to explore complex issues of remembrance and grief as well as celebrating the joy that can result from even the briefest of encounters.

I do not think that I could have written that a few years ago – not such simple words, and not balancing remembrance and grief with celebration and joy.

Due to previous commitments I did not get to see the piece installed in the library, I had hoped to see it there on Sunday afternoon but by the time I get there it had already be taken away. It would have been good to see it in that space. As I cycled away it occurred to me how different the venue was from the one that the piece had been initially conceived for (a former train station), beyond the physical difference the potential differences that really struck me were the mood and atmosphere in which the audience encountered the piece. Despite not experiencing this myself (!) I can imagine that piece appeared quite differently in the bustling modern library environment rather than the calm of gallery. I am little concerned that the work might not have ‘held its own’ in such a context, and this led me to think about how I often make art for particular spaces – even if those spaces are somewhat ‘generic’, a gallery for example. I guess that I like the idea that people encounter my work a little primed for “art” rather than simply coming across it – unless I have specifically made something with that in mind. I found myself thinking about those kinds of de-compression and transitionary spaces in buildings – entrance porches, doorways, vestabules. With that particular piece (Brief Encounter) I think I want people to have a little more ‘de-compression’ than Enköping’s library provides – this has been very useful for me to come to understand and is something that I hope to be more aware of with future exhibition opportunities.

Having said all that, I received good feedback from Klas and some friends who saw the piece!