An evening in Uppsala and an afternoon in Örebro have convinced me (not that I really needed convincing) that my future is in a city. At some point over the summer I started wondering if I should keep an eye opening for opportunities to move somewhere more vibrant. For quite a while I have had in mind that my older years would be in a city – somewhere where there are things to entertain, amuse, stimulate and challenge me in later life.
Enköping has been good for me up to this point, I would not be who or where I am now without having moved here and for that I shall always be grateful. However I see a big bold best-before date on the horizon and it is heading in towards me!
It was great to spend Friday evening with other members of the Uppsala Artists’ Club discussing ideas and visions for the future. The club will be relocating within the ’cultural complex’ that has been its home for countless years. The move is initiating discussions about new possibilities and ways of being. It felt so good to be amongst peers chatting about pros and cons of our various ideas and ambitions. For me it was also a fantastic opportunity to get to know at least a few of the members a bit better, we did not agree on everything and even some of the things that we agreed on broadly lead to more nuanced and diverse points of view. There was however an almost palpable energy and enthusiasm in the air. The club has a long and well respected history in the city and was interesting to hear about things that happened in the past. I realised that couching new visions in a well established trajectory is quite different from trying to whip up interest in a place with almost non-existent cultural intentions.
I believe passionately that culture should be accessible to all irrespective of where one lives, and that accessibility must include both the production and consumption of culture. This thinking underpins my work as the arts education officer here in Enköping. I do not want however to become a martyr to my cause which I fear might be how I start to feel if I do not do what is right for my own practice and artistic well-being. The conversations that Klas and I have on the rare occasions when we are in the studio at the same time barely sustain me over the weeks when we do not happen upon each other.
At the moment the possibility of moving to Uppsala is hypothetical. It would depend on my getting a permanent post with the council and be approved for a modest mortgage. Time is of the essence: the proportion of working years ahead of me decreases significantly with every passing year and I am aware that there will come a point where I will simply not get a mortgage; a permanent post is not guarantee against redundancy and every year the council seems to see the cultural departments as appropriate places to make a good deal of savings; as Stockholm becomes less and less affordable it seems inevitable that property prices in an already desirable city within commuting distance will only increase exponentially.
So as the ink dries on that permanent contract that I hope is on its way I shall be making an appointment with my bank and doing the decorating that I should have done before I moved in to this apartment.
Autumn evenings of ’property-porn’ are looking very appealing!