I have been playing a wee game this week – inspired by an announcement about an advanced research masters for artists and designers. It is very easy and very enjoyable, you simply read any academic call and say “making” instead of “writing”. Games with simple rules are often the trickiest, and I had to pay close attention so as not to miss a single “writing”. If it were a drinking game I would be pretty tipsy after just a paragraph! My game however created a wonderful sense of well-being and hopefulness. If only it were reality!
If anyone knows of a truly practice based advanced masters or PhD programme do let me know.*


My time in the studio this week has been spent making paper patterns for the ’shattered’ mirrors that will cover the placards that I am making for Tierp. I am enjoying the making and doing my best not to over think things. I am even trying not to over think how to secure the pieces. My meeting with Sten-Olaf at Möbeln was good and we have come up with what seems to be a workable solution. I am also pretty confident that we will be able to work something out even if our initial plan doesn’t work. If feels good to be dealing with real things again.


Having said that I have really enjoyed having a web-exhibition with MOCA London. And the responses to the show have been really good. It has been interesting to hear from a new, and international, audience. The whole experience has encouraged me to do something similar with Glitter Ball’s website and Instagram account. I have a few artists lined up and or in mind, and I am excited by the idea of being able to do things that would not be possible in the physical Glitter Ball space.

To see the web exhibition please visit MOCA London


The galleries at the artists’ club in Uppsala are re-opening. Obviously visitor numbers will be very limited but the majority of members want to get things going again. I am really not sure how I feel about it all. Although I too miss going to see exhibitions it still feels as though we should not be encouraging people in to the city centre. Uppsala remains one of the counties with special measures – which since Friday include not leaving (or entering) the county nor anything but essential travel within it. Under normal circumstances I would argue that art is essential but these are not normal circumstances and I tie myself in knots thinking about these kinds of things. I have been very grateful to have the studio to go to, I am not sure how I would be coping with just being home. And I have to admit that I find myself looking at what’s going on in other artists’ spaces more than I have done in the past. Last week I worked two half days not at the office but in the old courthouse building where ’my’ material store is. Having my hands on, and in, all that stuff made me realise how much I am missing doing practical workshops. I have agreed to do an outdoor children’s workshop for the artists’ club in early May – though I have no idea what I will do for that!


I popped to the studio briefly this afternoon to take photographs of two other shirt and tie pieces. Next week I am submitting them to a catalogue of contemporary art for regional and local councils. The councils have received financial aid to make additional purchases for their public art collections. It is a way of supporting artists during the pandemic. I am rather nervous about doing it but I am going to do it anyway. It would be fantastic if someone buys my work, and it would really mean a lot to me if it were a council. It would mean that the work gets shown in public venues. And being in a public collection in Sweden means a huge amount to me personally – in my mind it would really put me on the map of the Swedish art world. I love the idea that something that I spent time making would by chosen by someone working with public art and that it would a new home in their collection. Fingers crossed and thumbs held (as the swedes say)!



*I am just curious I have no intention of applying for any courses at the moment.  I am enjoying what I am doing far too much to stop right now!

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In Swedish one often says ’both and’ rather than just ’both’ – as in ’I want to have both’ (Jag vill ha både och). This feels particularly relevant at the moment.

In eleven days I will have two studios: one in Enköping and one in Uppsala. After speaking friends (rather than checking my finances) I decided that I would take the studio at the old hospital – it is just too good an opportunity to miss.

It is both exciting and a bit scary. I have no idea how it will work out. It sounds so grand having two studios … and I am not so grand at all! However I have only myself to take care of. And I need to take of myself! I have spent a good deal of the last three year’s studio time trying to get an artists’ collective together and now I need to take a break. I know that I am not alone in this Klas was quick to get involved when I started looking for other artists back in 2016, when we put the call out for artists’ studios at the Old Gymnastic Hall Ida was one of the first to respond, and 18 months ago Ola turned up looking to relocate his photographic practice closer to home. We four have been the driving force in trying to move things on both at the studio and with the local council. I think that we all feeling our frustrations at the lack of progress – particularly from the council’s side.

So rather than getting run-down by it all I have decided that I need a change of scene and to focus on my own work. I am confident that the professional atmosphere of Hospitalet will be very good for me!

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Almost exactly as I made that last post I got a message letting me know that there are two studios still available at the Hospital and that I was very welcome to come look at them! I read the mail twice just to make sure that I understood it correctly. Yes, two studios: one larger and one smaller.


Over the weekend I spoke with studio coordinator, she was really pleased to have received my application and thinks that I would be a good addition to the artists’ group – I was surprised and flattered to hear that (to be honest I find it difficult to accept compliments so probably humbled something dumb). We arranged that I would go and see the studios on my way back from a site visit in Tierp on Thursday.


So yesterday evening, a little later than expected due to an unexpected snow storm as I was driving down the E4, I met Anna Karin and she showed me the studios. The smaller one is hilariously small – no more than a cupboard with a window and radiator really. The proportions make the room rather tricky: it’s a door’s width and long with a good size window on the lefthand long wall. Much as it would amuse me to have such a room it would of course be completely useless as a studio. The larger room however … is rather attractive. It reminded me of the residence studio that I had a WIP (Stockholm, 2009) which in one way or another played a part in my moving to Sweden. The proportions of the large room and the studio at WIP are similar – another long room with a window at the end. The Hospital building is considerably older, the window more modest, the ceiling higher, and the surroundings completely different but none of that diminished my sense of familiarity.


The studios (as a whole) operate similarly to WIP: separate studios on long corridors with shared kitchens and toilets for which there is a cleaning rota. The studios are sublet from the city council which is also like WIP. One obvious difference is that some rooms are let by writers and musicians (the majority though are artist’s studios). Anna Karin introduced me to some of the artists who were there and had their doors open. It felt good to be there and to recognise kindred spirits. Not that I am unfamiliar with the building, one of the committees that I sit on has its office at the Hospital and if it weren’t for covid we would be having our meetings there, I have also been on several professional development courses in the studios’ project room.


I guess what really appeals to me is that everything that I would like to achieve with the studio in Enköping is already up and running. Taking a studio there would (to a great extent) allow me to get on with my own practice without having to worry about all the challenges and uncertainties that persist at the Enköping studio. The Hospital offers a good ground from which I could actually grow, and I think that being together with other exhibiting contemporary artists would be very beneficial. I also think that I could make useful contributions to the collective projects and events that they arrange. It would be wonderful to be swimming with the current! Doing what I do in Enköping feels more like being a salmon – going against the stream and exhausting oneself in the process.


Over the weekend I need to take a good look at the finances, I know that I have savings that would cover the studio rent if necessary but I would prefer not use them for that. On the other hand it would not be the worst use of them. Today I took a page in my sketch book and headed up two columns, one for pros and one for cons of taking the studio at the Hospital. The pros far exceeded the cons, the only serious cons being the additional cost and the commuting. The pros included being in a professional environment, being part of the city’s art-scene, raising my visibility, collaborative projects, renting from a council that meaningfully supports the arts, the likelihood of studio visits from other arts professionals, wi-fi, open studio events, and not least a studio with proper electricity, toilets with proper lighting, and a proper kitchen.


On Monday I have to say if I want to take the studio or not. I think that I already know what I will say but I will talk with friends over the weekend, and do some sums.





I have made the first move in finding out about studios in Uppsala. This is a big thing for me, I can be stupidly loyal at times and even enquiring about the upcoming studios makes me feel as though I am betraying, for the most, Klas but also the other artists at the studio here as well as Enköping in general. I guess that this is what people refer to as having divided loyalties: eventually a choice has to be made.

I am jumping the gun somewhat as all I that I’ve done is expressed an interest in finding out more about a new tranche of studios (19 in total) that are going to be launched at the existing Hospital Studio Association. Even doing so little as that has awakened a whole raft of emotions and questions … perhaps emotional questions. The most fundamental of which is: what do I do if I find a studio in Uppsala that I like?

I had been thinking about asking about the studio waiting list at the Hospital, and last in Tierp met up with Maria Nöremark – a great artist who has shown with Glitter Ball and who has her studio at the Hospital – so I asked her. ’Perfect timing!’ she said and went on to say that they were about to announce the new studios and that I should keep an eye on their Instagram posts. I had been expecting a quite different response – one of those were someone that you like but don’t really know has to deliver less than positive news. I thought she would tell me that there is a long waiting list and that the future looks very uncertain as the council has found a buyer for the entire old hospital site. (There has been a lot of backwarding and forwarding about possible developments on the site since before the studios opened there. The studios occupy a tiny fraction of the predominantly vacant premises.). But no! On the contrary the studios are expanding and actively looking for artists to join them!
I am waiting to hear back from the studio coordinator – again an artist whom I know to say hello to. In fact I know several artists who have their studios at the Hospital. And in part it is that that makes the prospect of a studio there rather attractive.

Also this week Klas, Ida and I (the steering committee at our studios in Enköping) had a not completely negative (!) meeting with the head of arts and culture, and the head of community projects at Enköping council. We (Klas, Ida and I ) are trying to get some long-term and structural support so that we can develop the studios that we have. The head of arts and culture, who is my manager when I work at the council, is very keen, her colleague more sceptical. This is unfortunate as it is the colleague who controls the purse strings. However she listened to us and didn’t dismiss the idea immediately which we took as a good sign.

And so I find myself taking tentative steps in different directions at the same time.

Of course it is so much more ’just’ the studio at play. As I have mentioned (several times) before Enköping has its advantages – the studio, the gym, work, and the supermarket are all less than a ten minutes cycle way from my spacious apartment. The disadvantages are considerable however – most (de)pressing is the severely limited cultural life and social life that I have here. Becoming more involved in the Uppsala Artists’ Club has made me very aware that I don’t spend time enough with artists. Both Klas and Ida have young families so we only see each other at the studio. I know that some young(er) artists have moved here from Stockholm in recent years, they seem to do it so that they can afford to start families. The cinema shows mostly family or action films, and the few regional touring theatre shows that I have seen here would not be my first choice. I do like knowing a few people to say hello to in the supermarket – mostly other members of the gym but is that enough?

The thought of moving fills me with dread. In the five years that I have been here I have more than adequately furnished and filled both my studio and my apartment. I probably, almost certainly, have more ’stuff’ now than I did when I lived in London. Of course not everything has to move with me – though already having been through one big move I know a little too much of what it entails. And I haven’t even gotten around to decorating this apartment! I promised myself that I wouldn’t repeat what I did in Crystal Palace – decorate to sell – but it might come to that!

My tendency to over-think things is racing ahead. I have to remind myself that I haven’t even spoken with the studio coordinator. I might not like the studios on offer … I don’t even know when they will be available!

The idea of living in Uppsala is exciting, I have to acknowledge that. I do miss the opportunities that the city offers. I owe it to myself to investigate the possibilities of moving to one, and Uppsala would be the obvious choice. I told myself previously that I wouldn’t move again without good reason – I am too old to start over from scratch – a nice studio, an artistic community, an active and contemporary cultural environment sound like three very good reasons.


Let’s see if there’s a studio with my name on it!

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