On Friday I looked around what could easily be a great studio. The place would suit up to about ten individual artists, or perhaps fewer if I/we can pull off a collaboration with ABF (a well established national adult education organisation) who are looking for some kind of collective/educational creative workshop here in town.


A collaboration could be mutually very beneficial. Logistically it would be simple as ABF already rent premises in the same building – the studios and ABF even share an entrance and disabled access.

I realised last week that a combination of the cold and the windowlessness of the studio that I currently share with Klas are very real disincentives to going there and getting on with things. Klas is in agreement that we need to find somewhere else.

The idea of having a warm and workable studio is very appealing. My head is full if ideas and things that I want to try out – I want to play with materials. I need to play with materials! I need to get the ideas out and made tangible. I need to see and feel things in font of me. Spending too much time pondering and thinking, even sketching and writing, lacks the materiality and reality that is needed. Things will only be resolved physically.

Or perhaps I should say that I want to resolve things physically. My most successful pieces to date have come through playing with materials and following my intuition.


Continuing to pack-up the studio at home …


The need to make feels quite urgent. There is something that I want to work out. (I had not really thought about the content of that expression before – now the word ‘out’ seems particularly significant.) Part of me is drawn towards shapes and forms that tend toward the baroque, another part towards things minimal and clean. I can toss these ideas around and contextualise both in relation to the social and political climates. But these ideas are not real – they have no volume, no weight, and no presence. I want to work with these qualities. I want to engage with processes that will take me somewhere that I cannot foretell. If I could predict the results then working things out with materials would be meaningless or at best illustrative. I do not want that for my work.

Getting an appropriate studio is a priority.



I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of a friend this morning. Francois and I met in Venice at little café where we the only patrons. He simply asked if he could join me. It was summer 2007 and my first time, first day, in Venice for the Biennale – I was there with Pilot 3, a satellite project presenting unrepresented artists. Despite not having a mobile phone we managed to meet up a couple of times over the following days and saw some great art together. I learned that Francois was both knowledgeable and generous, but mostly he was passionate about contemporary art. Over the years we met up many times while I lived in London, he always invited me to be his VIP guest at Frieze – a tradition that continued even after I moved to Sweden. He invited me to join him for a weekend of art in Berlin and introduced me to the city, he came to my first show in Stockholm, he sent me his thought and reflections on the many and various art-fairs and exhibitions that he attended as he developed his private collection. He was my window on to world of collectors, dealers, private museums, and international institutions. He was always interesting and interested, he always had time despite his hectic schedule. We did not only speak about art, we chatted about our lives and loves – perhaps confiding in each other as moved in such disparate worlds.

While putting together some links for an email to other members of the steering committee at the gallery here I opened facebook, and that is where I saw a post by another of his friends. The post was in French, Francois was Swiss, and it took me some moments to grasp what was being said.

It was only a few weeks ago that we were in touch. I told him that I would not be able to join him for Frieze – I had just begun my new job and had neither the time nor resources to make the trip. Earlier in the summer he made a “last-minute trip” to Stockholm, it was unfortunate that it was the weekend that I was in Glasgow for ‘Made-Up’. He knows several galleries and has other friends here so I was not too surprised to hear of his plans. Now, writing this, I wonder if he knew that he was ill. I am not absolutely certain why he died however the announcement of his memorial service requests donation to a cancer charity in lieu of flowers. A few years ago, as we waited for a bus on our way to Heddon Street, Francois mentioned some health concerns. He was elusive in referring to some specialists and an unnamed, possibly, hereditary condition, he assured me that it was nothing too serious. He could be incredibly enigmatic if he chose to be, was a former lawyer and tax consultant after all!

Scrolling through the posts on his facebook timeline it is amazing to see all the photographs of him with family and friends around the world. I do not have a single photo of him or us together – it never occurred to me, or us, to take pictures. I do not recognise any of the posts’ authors, not only do I have a bad memory for names but Francois often described people for me rather than giving me their names: ‘the son of my cousin who lives in Hampstead’, ‘the lady whom I met at the party after the opening in Miami’. Though not knowing the people in the pictures, nor understanding the French, Italian (?) and other tributes, it is obvious that Francois was much loved and will be much missed.

Perhaps because I learnt of his death via social media it feels unreal. I do not know his friends or family and we do not have any mutual friends. This evening I shall speak with a good friend of mine in London who met Francois and with whom I spoke about him and our trips. I think that that will make it real for me.


Francois, I am going to miss you and our curious intriguing friendship.


Thinking about a new work for a group show, May 2018 …

The show celebrates a significant anniversary of an independent gallery that I showed with in 2009. I like the idea of making something that references the piece that I made in 2009. That piece was like the proverbial parson’s egg – visually it was successful, technically it failed. The fail-safe feature of particular ‘off the shelf’ component caused a difficulty that was eventually circumvented rather than resolved – a clean resolution would have been unrealistic in terms of both time and money. The visual aspects of the installation have been shown subsequently and work well in their own right.

The show is in London and I am in Enköping. Transport is a question. Do I make the work and then look into how to get it to London? Or do I look at means of transport and produce something accordingly? I have asked if there is a budget for transport and am waiting to hear back from the curator. This question though makes me very aware of how I work (and how I regard my practice generally). Thinking about weights and dimension that I can carry as luggage is at once both practical and passive: it is a sure-fired way to get something done however it also feels as though I am accepting (or even creating) an overly restrictive starting point. The artwork has to come first.

I want to make something beautiful.


[the next day]

There are so many things that I want to do.

There are too many things that I want to do!

Yesterday evening I went to Fredrik Ericsson’s show at Galleri Mejan. The show is part of his final exam – Fredrik graduates from the Royal Institute’s five year masters programme this summer. His work ‘Future Fuel’ is a solar powered machine that produces an ‘explosion’ from water! Fredrik comes from Enköping and it is through him that I met Nina and got involved in the art scene here. His work is fantastic and I am going to see if I can let other Enköping folk know about his show via various facebook groups. It makes me realise that we lack a specifically cultural network that allows us to share information and tips about exhibitions and such. So of course this is something that I want to remedy.

I think that Fredrik’s future is going to be very successful. I certainly hope that he is!

As Moderna is right next-door I looked at the re-hang of their permanent collection. I don’t know how often they re-hang but this selection was new to me. There was also an exhibition of Louise Nevelson’s work. Seeing such work made me want to get my ‘stuff’ to the studio and just play. Looking at pieces from the 1940s/50s reminded me that the most important thing is to work visually and with materials. I really want to focus on that now. I have spent too long thinking about what I want to make rather than actually making. This imbalance needs to be addressed. I want to develop my piece for the London show through play and materials rather than thinking and writing.


[the next next day]

While at Uppsala Art Museum I took some photos for the ‘Introduction to digital photography’ evening course that I am taking. I hope to improve my technical skills as it would be great to be able to document my own work.

I get a real mix of emotions when I see work by established artists that is not so far from my own. On one hand it is reassuring to see that similar processes and/or materials have a place and are appreciated. On the other hand I feel a little deflated seeing that such comparable work is already out there. Perhaps what I feel most is good portion of jealousy – to be perfectly honest! – that another artist has managed to work out how to do things successfully. That is something that I have yet to work out. Tomorrow I have a meeting with Uppsala Council’s art consultant/advisor, I shall ask him about how I might develop my career. In preparation I shall have a think about what kind of career it is that I want!