I find myself staying in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife in slightly peculiar circumstances – this should have been a holiday with my parents, who due to an unplanned operation were unable to make the trip.  Tenerife had never really appealed to me … I enjoyed the architecture of Lanzarote which I visited in the 90s with L, more recently I appreciated the relative peace of Corralejo, north Fuerteventura, I ’experienced’ Gran Canaria twice which was once more than enough.  Now I am here and wondering how to make the best of it.


That’s not quite the full picture – the ’inspiration’ for my parents trip came from their neighbours J&D who have a time-share apartment here and love the island.  My parents, not really ’resort tourists’, decided to see if they had been missing out all these years so booked ten days in a nice hotel here.  While talking about this on one of our Sunday afternoon Skype fikas (Swedish for a coffee morning/afternoon tea) the idea came up that I should join them for a week … the idea was only tempting because it had been so long since we took a holiday together – about 30 years by our less than scientific calculations.  Anyway things unfortunately did not work out as planned …  so I will now meet J&D for coffee or lunch or something without my parents …


In addition U (and her two children) are living in south Tenerife for a year.  U is the friend with whom I lived when I moved to Sweden, and whose children, A&C, I took care of.  They are coming up to Puerto de la Cruz at the weekend.  We’ll hire a car and do some sightseeing including the (hopefully) extinct volcano at the island’s heart — which will be good fun … and a novelty to see them elsewhere than at their home or at their summer house on that amazing island in the archipelago.


So in reality I only have a few days to myself … which makes it somehow odder.  I arrived late yesterday evening after a long day (a 3.00am start), this morning I walked along the seafront … I was going to write ’coast’ but that makes it sound natural and possibly even rugged when the reality was far from that.  I will return to the closed ironmongers and possibly to the recently opened ’creative space’ run by a nice man who wants to do more than offer a printing service.  And I will go to the curious sounding Museum of Contemporary Art on the floor above the Tourist Information office in one of the harbour’s historic buildings.  There is a freshwater(?) swimming pool complex designed by Cesare Manrique (the Lanzarote architect) that sounds interesting and worth a visit.  Which leaves me with probably a day and a half (or two) … and the evenings … always the evenings!


Recently some friends and I have been lamenting the decline of the gay scene – that is to say gay bars and clubs – in Stockholm and London.  Uppsala doesn’t seem to have ever even had a gay bar, club, or café.  There are a number of gay bars here including one with a drag show – which my mother wanted to visit … it is handily on the street between the different hotels where we are/should be staying.  A part of me fancies some nights out … and a part of me wonders why I would do such a thing!


The artist as tourist … how does that work?   That’s something to ponder while I pour myself a gin and tonic and make myself some kind of risotto … before perhaps heading out and around to the corner to the very local gay bar …






I am tired! I think this is partially due to my massive intake of refined sugars over the past few weeks – I’m simply not used to it and I am sure that it is wreaking havoc with my natural blood sugar and energy levels.

Getting my work ready to deliver to the Spring Exhibition has been more time consuming than I had imagined … or perhaps I should say that I have probably been working less efficiently than I could have done – see the note above!

Sunday evening and the works are packed into their crates – which are labelled and ready for me to pick up from the studio in the car on Tuesday afternoon. I will then drive them to the gallery and hand them over. I have also written a short text providing some additional information for the guides leading public and pre-arranged exhibition talks. And I made a very short and hopefully very pedagogic film showing how to install the pieces.

I have booked a posh(ish) hotel – it’s a ll relative! – for the night after the opening. I want to enjoy the evening and not have to think about travel back to Uppsala in potentially subzero conditions … I also want to return to the gallery for the opening to the public. I am very curious to see who turns up and how it feels. I have the feeling that the opening night will, as usual, not be the best time to actually look at the exhibition so returning the day after will give me time to go around the show and even to see the exhibition in the new wing – a collection of couture garments from some of the worlds most famous houses which have been commissioned by a man and tailored for his body though the original garments were designed for a woman. I am very interested to learn more about this Swedish man with not only such a ’gender fluid’ project but the finances to execute it … will he be at the opening of the Spring Exhibition? Might he like to invest in an artwork made of ties???






One week until I deliver my work to the Spring Exhibition … there is a lot to do in that time – practical things to attend to with the actual pieces, and other things to do with the stuff around them – writing two texts (and getting them proofread), making a short video showing how the work can be installed, getting them photographed (in the studio). I am sure that a week is sufficient time to do all of this … so long as I stay focussed.

As soon as I finish this post I will re-read the letter/mail from the exhibition/gallery to double check what I need to do and to make sure that I haven’t missed anything.

I am excited and nervous about the show … about my work in the show … about the potential exposure (and criticism) that the exhibition will generate. I have never been involved in something on this scale before. The scale is interesting … and even confusing … in some ways I can feel like a very small part of a very large event, but then I think about the fact that five works will be shown and that they will make quite a visual impact … unless they are hung in an out of the way location – the gallery is vast with seven maybe eight large rooms. I can’t imagine visitor numbers of 100 000 – that far exceeds anything I have previously done. And the range of visitors – art lovers, art collectors, art professionals, art students, artists(!), tourists. I imagine that the kinds of reactions and response might be different from different visitors but I have difficulty imagining what those reactions and responses might be: appreciation, curiosity, criticism.

Do I expect to sell? I can’t say that I do but it would be very nice!

I am expecting a certain level of criticism – the ’I could have done that’ kind of thing, the question is whether or not I will hear it or not. Might someone bother to email me or comment on Instagram? What kind of press and media coverage will there be?

Between delivering the work and the exhibition opening I want to make sure that my website is up to date and tidy. It will be interesting to see if it gets more visitors, and if my Instagram account attracts more viewers.

Now to get on with day’s tasks!



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