I haven’t really had time to catch breath since returning from Supermarket. Today I have to start tackling those not absolutely urgent things that are fast approaching urgency … or perhaps that odd state where if things aren’t done within a certain window they become … odd in themselves … not exactly irrelevant or inappropriate rather slightly passed their best before date. The moderators’ feedback questionnaire is a case in point – it never becomes completely irrelevant but I feel that it becomes something else with each passing day. Not only is a good way for me to hear a little of how the moderators feel about the their meeting and the meeting programme in general, it is also a nice way to thank them again for their vital contribution to Supermarket. I also want to spend some time doing my own evaluation! Some of that will happen this afternoon when I have a call with Pam from Juxtapose.

With everything that has been going on: making the first of three train-station installations, making a presentation at Västerås Art Museum, arranging interviews for the administrator’s post at the artists’ club, doing my best to deal with a clash of personalities at the artists’ club that threatened to disband the management committee, finalising and preparing for the summer holiday activities programme in Enköping, I can’t say that I haven’t had time to think … but I have had to focus on doing – which perhaps is no bad thing.

Installing yesterday was a good experience … and I am pleasantly surprised with a particular aspect of the work that I had not anticipated – it feels a little uneasy to admit that, I would prefer to claim that everything was thought through and carefully considered. The piece is not what I would call site-specific in that the components of the installation could be shown elsewhere … hopefully they will be! … nor do they have a relevance to just that particular place. However placing objects in a room in such a way that the room is activated … animated … introduces new aspects to the work. The vacant ’unit’ in Arboga train station and bus terminal is dominated by straight lines and angles. It is not usual in this however introducing the large soft and curving artworks makes a stark contrast to the hard and stiff the architecture and draws attention to it. It is the extent of the curves that I had not anticipated – with weight of two tightly woven sheets producing considerably more bowing than I had imagined. Had I had time to test the pieces in the studio I might have been less surprised but I would more than likely have been more nervous … or even tried to find alternative poles. As it is I think that the piece is stronger for being what it is … for challenging the order and discipline of the space … for softening it up. I could go so far as to say that the piece is far more queer than I had imagined with it would be … and for that I am very pleasantly surprised. More than surprised … I am inspired and pleased that I worked with the materials rather than with my idea of what the work would … should … be. The piece is the result of what happened between me, the materials, and the room – and that I find is very exciting.

Driving back in the glorious evening sun these thoughts began to take form, writing them here is clarifying them and helping me understand the relationship between those three elements: the artist, the material, the location.

There were some comic(?) moments yesterday, such as when Kajsa (the wonderfully helpful, enthusiastic, and charming arts officer) and I returned from the library with a significantly higher ladder than the modest step-ladder that I could fit in my car. We discovered a plumber replacing radiator pipes exactly where I had decided one piece should be placed and very close to where I need to be to install another. I busied myself with other pieces and decided that I would only become anxious if it looked as though the plumbing work would not be finished that day. Not long after that cleaners turned up to clean with windows – something that was definitely necessary. They worked very efficiently though it felt like the wrong time to be laying out and pressing the sheets as they dashed about with buckets of filthy water. I had imagined being the space alone, not having to take other people into consideration as I moved around with four meter poles and ironed pieces of clean white fabric (each approximately 3 x 2.4 meters) on the floor. I am glad that I didn’t get over concerned, the inside of the windows were soon clean and dry, and the plumber was suddenly packing up and cleaning after himself. Everyone was friendly … in some way I enjoyed those few hours being there with other professionals who were also just getting on their work.


Exhibition information in Swedish



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Supermarket is an amazing event … what struck me most this year are the opportunities that it offers … perhaps I am particularity alert to this as my sabbatical year fast approaches … as I think about the direction of my own practice. My fourth year as Meetings coordinator and I became very aware of how I am seen as part of the Supermarket team – or perhaps … and also … how I see myself as part of that team. I have been a part of the team since 2012 when I started doing a little proofreading but having an exhibitor facing role is still relatively new … and starting the year that the pandemic struck was a peculiar way to (non)begin. Perhaps this year is … was … the first … most obviously … truly … confidently …post pandemic year. Perhaps people, by which I mean the artists, curators, organisers, are (un)consciously once more confident to engage with each other – literally and metaphorically. The collective individual protectionism(?) … reservation(?) … isolation (?) … confusion and uncertainty of the pandemic years is perhaps subsiding and we are letting ourselves be open and close to others again – close to each other rather than closed to each other – what a difference a ’d’ makes.

Sitting here now I realise that my being able to almost all of the meetings has of course shifted my perception of the programme. It also enabled me to be more focussed on each meeting … to be present … and without wishing to sound too egotistical … I wonder if that had an impact. The meetings are quite intimate – that’s the intention – but perhaps expecting people, both the moderator and the participants, to be so intimate with strangers is asking too much too quickly … perhaps my constant presence … my being a visible and real representative of Supermarket … provided a safe … productive … necessary context (?) [or something] for the conversations. I received many complements on my hosting … my making people feel welcome … perhaps that, in the context of the meetings, … is more useful … valuable … meaningful … than the quantity of meetings. One good well cared for meeting is better than two less well cared for meetings. Could … does … my being able to pay … give … attention to the meeting make it better?

I think that even if I have the option of two meeting rooms next year that I will only programme one. The other can be ’spontaneously’ booked – the development of something that John mentioned in discussing ’un-conferences’.

It has been, without a doubt, my best Supermarket. Not only did the meetings go well but I truly enjoyed myself – I met fantastic interesting dynamic people who make amazing things happen … I didn’t just meet them – I had time for them … and perhaps I allowed myself to feel that I was one of them … that I am part of the Supermarket family.




What to say … how to make sense of yesterday … it was one of those days when everything just flowed … one of those days where I was just doing what I was doing and enjoying it. Now that I sit here and reflect on it though it seems too good … too easy to be true.

After getting up early, a short run, and packing my things (my stay at the KRO apartment is split by a few night with my good friend P – some nights at the apartment were already booked when the fair dates were announced,) I met two of the Juxtapose Art Fair directors for (in my case a second) breakfast at a very nice cafe in the very trendy part of town. We chatted away for more than an hour over different and very tasty selections for the various modern plays on egg on toast. Pam and I have spoken twice online, and it was the first time I that I met Cecilie – they are of course lovely, friendly, professional, intelligent, and confident. We spoke seriously about some things … laughed and joked about others … and shared musings and wonderings about things that we were still processing. Walking back to the apartment to pick up my suitcase I couldn’t help but ask myself how I had ended up speaking with directors of an international art fair as if it was the most natural thing in the world … but then I do do it regularly – every year … throughout every year – with the directors of Supermarket. This is one of the worlds in which I work … I still can’t quite believe it … I would like to get better at acknowledging it … without becoming arrogant or having an over-inflated ego.

The fair’s Forum Day is always good fun … and this year I not only took part in the speed-networking but I remembered to say that I am a practicing artist. I met such interesting people – some of whom I already know in other contexts … a pleasant sense of familiarity, some who I could easily see future connections with, some who are doing fantastic things though far from my sphere of activity and interest.

After coffee we broke into smaller groups for more focussed discussions in response to Supermarket’s very own fortune cookies. It was a surprisingly effective way to get people thinking and speaking about their ambitions, concerns, dreams, and hopes for the future. One of the notes I made, for myself, it reads: the process is political. Of course it’s a riff on ’the personal is political’ … the idea is not new but in that moment yesterday afternoon those four words captured something that I want to explore further and something that I want always to keep in mind … it’s not quite a mantra but it might well have to sit alongside ’It’s to do with art’ on the studio wall.

Getting an introduction to the booth of one of the exhibitors in the fortune cookie group inspired me to imagine a possible project for the artists’ club – a project that I might get funding to run, and which could add a new way of working … a new relevance … a new energy to the club. Bcademie run a mentoring programme for new graduates, there’s no art-school in Uppsala so there are no new graduates however there are young artists who want to go to art school and there is a club full of professional artists who could over the course of a year mentor them. A structure would have to be worked out but the model that Bcademie have developed is a very interesting starting point. It certainly something that I want to think further about and speak to Eiera at the county council about.

Catching up with former Supermarket team members at the opening party was lovely – they really are such a great group of people and I am very pleased to have become part of it. I think that I needed to be reminded that I already have so many connections to an amazing group of colleagues working in various strands of the Swedish art scene … colleagues and connections that I should take better care of and value more highly.

Sitting up late at P’s chatting about my impressions from the day he was good to ask what personal projects I was going to be working on during my sabbatical. Even if I couldn’t he could see my enthusiasm for developing new programmes for the artists’ club and the studio association as potentially sabotaging my sabbatical. I am very grateful for the clarity of his direct question.



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I spent a great deal of yesterday hanging out in the exhibitors lounge yesterday, I spoke with some exhibitors who I know and some of those who will be moderating meetings … most of my time I spent with other staff – Alice and I drove to the northern outskirts of the city to pick up new banners from a ’logistics park’. We chatted the two hours we were in the car … I don’t think that in the eight or nine year that we’ve worked together we have ever spent so much time together and talked so personally as friends – it was really nice. Late afternoon into evening John and I chatted while he kept the coffee and beer flowing. We are much more familiar with each other having had time to hang out over the years when both of us had roles where our work was done in advance of the actual fair – website design on John’s part, and proofreading on mine. And then of course we had our early mornings together in the kitchen the week that John was visiting the Riga residency. I am really enjoying the deepening of my friendships with both Alice and John.

John pointed out that one of the meeting moderators is the partner of his best friend in Estonia – who was also a guest workshop leader in Riga … I thought that her name sounded familiar and now I know why.

In chatting with the team from Eulengasse they casually mentioned the artists and arts organisations that they would like to introduce me to “when [I] am in Frankfurt” … it would be great to visit them … they are one of the groups who I want to ask about the possibility of working/showing with. It’s very nice that Kött Inspektionen from Uppsala are exhibiting this year, and of course I have been chatting with them. It’s always a delight to catch-up with Niamh and everyone from Ormston House, and this year Alannah Robins’ Interface, also from Ireland, has a booth – sometimes she attends the Meetings Expanded networking programme. Kristjan, who was also on the Riga residency, is here with his King og Bong project (Iceland). I also spoke with the collaborators running the education workshops and moderating three meetings.

This year there seem to be quite a few exhibitors who are doing things in collaboration with each other … or perhaps as I get to know them better the collaborations are becoming more obvious … or it that where the interest, and funding, is? I am really interested in this kind of thing and would like to get collaborations going either through the artists club or the studio in Uppsala. I am a bit concerned that both organisations are a little too large and unwieldy but I don’t have to work with everyone I guess … but does it have to be open call? … perhaps I just pick the other members who I want to work with!

Today is ’Forum Day’ – internal networking – it’s always chaotic and it’s always fun … as John said it used to feel stressful now after five years it doesn’t. More of the meeting moderators arrive today – three of them are on the Meetings Expanded programme – which has caused them more than a little confusion.

I guess my hanging out chatting, answering questions about the programme, directing people to my colleagues responsible for specific areas, helping those colleagues with things that just need to be done, and even making coffee when John was away from the lounge are all part of my work at Supermarket. And it’s work that I really really enjoy.



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The Supermarket team is same as last year – with the addition of one of last year’s volunteers. It is so nice to see everyone again, it all feels so familiar. And it great to say hello to the exhibitors that I know. I am getting more used to how Supermarket is behind the scenes – it’s a bit messy but it works! The office is its usual jumble of hastily unpacked irritable printers, orphaned cables, and grubby coffee machines, along with remnants of past fairs’ merchandise and a couple of already cluttered desks … there’s something wonderfully homely about it … it’s an honest and friendly space.

It’s nice to be back in a familiar venue, though this time we don’t have the run of the building and as a result of that the meeting room is a little oddly located at the foot of an unused staircase. I say unused – it’s actually an emergency exit but only when the music venue on the floor above has an event. I might see if I can find some semi opaque fabric for the inside of the glass doors that separate the room from the fair entrance. I was rather anxious about the space … as were several others of my colleagues but we have been re-assured that it’s okay … so that’s where I will be. It was good for me to realise that if any issue arises it’s not something that I have to solve alone … I am part of a team.

I flipped thought the catalogue/magazine – it’s always intriguing to see what graphic magic has been worked on the basic unformatted texts that I proofread. I feel bad that there are some typos in Alice’s editorial … I remember reading it at least once but it could have been one of the texts that was finalised too late for me to manage a second or even third reading … it’s a bit of a blur. Alice is being philosophical about it.

My task for the day is to speak with as many of the meeting moderators as possible. To introduce myself in person after the weeks of email correspondence and to go through some ’housekeeping’ … remind them to ask questions, to encourage discussion, and for everyone to swap contact details.

Inger, the other artist staying the apartment, and I had a lovely conversation over breakfast yesterday … she’s not here for Supermarket and will head home (north) before the fair opens. It is hard … and perhaps even unnecessary … for me to stop thinking about how much better and more enjoyable my life is going to be when I am spending my time with artists rather than dealing with local council bureaucracy.

John asked how the rest of the Black Hole, Riga residency worked out – he was the first of three visiting workshop leaders – I was delighted to be able to tell him that it really opened things up for me and re-engaged me with trusting my practice. Niamh mentioned speaking with Sorcha and hearing how well we got on with each other on the residency. It was great to bump into Kristian who I follow on Instagram but haven’t had contact with since Riga.

It feels things are definitely moving in the right direction …