This afternoon I got some simple advice on how I might capitalise (not sure I am completely with my choice of word) on being in Liljevalchs Vårsalong. I should identify some commercial galleries that I am interested in working with and in a few sentences present myself and ask if they are interested in working/collaborating with me.

There are a few galleries in Stockholm that I like … that I pay attention to and visit when I am in town. There are also some that I pay less attention to but that for some reason appeal to me. I need to do some more research into those to see what kind of artists they are already working with, and see if I can work out how they work with their artists.

I should also identify and approach some non-commercial galleries – council and ’foundation’ funded ones rather than artist-run.

Writing this I think that it might be a good idea to return to the show this week and take some better … more useable … photographs.


I am still thinking through my reaction(s) to a critic’s lazy and disrespectful comment aimed at me and several other exhibitors * – that we have merely copied other artists/artworks. His comments are actually disrespectful to the selectors too – suggesting that they didn’t see the implied plagiarism (that is to say that the selectors are not as well informed as he is), and by extension weren’t up to the job. The thing that niggles at me is that this is not the only case of such poor … ignorant …criticism that has been made about particular pieces in the exhibition. I am thinking of a specific instance, made by a different critic, which at best could be called misjudged and at worst blatant racism.

Before I posted my response to the critic’s words on my Facebook and Instagram accounts I wrote to him directly at the online magazine that he directs and publishes and where his review appears. I concluded my letter by inviting him to get in touch. So far he has not … and to be honest I do not expect him to do that. Doing so would be too large admission of culpability.

I shall, when appropriate, continue to refer to this in conversations and discussions regarding how one’s work can be so inaccurately assessed by someone who certainly should know better.

The incident has also made me realise that I should never underestimate someone’s … anyone’s … ability to miss what is actually right in front of them. I am pretty sure that I have mis-read other artists’ work, or not given it the time that it required to make more than a cursory judgement. The difference is that I am not then putting in this print. I think that it was while studying and then working with David Barrett and Lucy Head that I learned something very important – if you don’t have time to make an informed comment then don’t make a comment at all. Neither David nor Lucy ever said this outright … they didn’t need to because they simply embodied it and for that learning I am very grateful.



*the article is Swedish so here’s a translation of the closing paragraph:

A peculiarity of the Spring Exhibition 2024 is the number of participants who more or less shamelessly choose to get close to other artists’ works/expressions. Postmodernism’s credo of art as a source of art is celebrating a belated triumph, where the artists – with their current soul mate in parentheses – Stuart Mayes (Charlotte Walentin), Linus Bronge (Helene Schjerfbeck), Anders Ekblom (Ola Billgren), Æsa Saga Ardal (Meret Oppenheim), Anna Clarén (Tuija Lindström), Frank Bruzelius (Tom of Finland) and Susanne Bonja (Kristina Jansson) casually flirt with both older and newer art history. Perhaps this is what the multifaceted Art Sweden 2024 really looks like: an aesthetic smorgasbord where originality and uniformity are not mutually exclusive.





So what do I do now? How do I make the most of being in a very hyped exhibition? The new gallery director together with very media savvy colleagues, selectors, and curators have certainly created a great deal of interest and enthusiasm … they have re-invigorated the Spring Exhibition – the headline in yesterday’s ’other’ broadsheet: Is the Spring Exhibition Becoming Cool? My work is one of several accompanying the article!

Not only that but my work appears in short report in the culture news on the national tv channel!

And literally as I am writing my ’Google alert’ let me know that my work is in another paper: Ålands Newspaper.

My mind is racing …






Truly enjoying my Hotel Breakfast … still a ’course’ or two to go! … after a lovely evening and good night’s sleep.

It was lovely to see so many friends and colleagues at the opening last night … I am getting a goose-bumpy, and almost tearful (again), realising that I am part of the art-scene … I know people and people know me. Some I know through the Supermarket Art Fair – as both co-workers and exhibitors, some are artists that I have met in other contexts, some are ’other’ artists professionals – curators, and gallerists. It was great to meet the exhibition’s selectors and curators, as well as some of the exhibition team and the new head of the gallery.

I was very excited to hear that one of the selectors, who was also one of the curators, visits Uppsala to see his parents … and that he wants to do a studio visit. He’s very active in the art world and is really making his queer POC voice heard in what is the rather conservative Stockholm/Swedish scene.

And my work looks great! I have a whole wall to myself! The installation has been done brilliantly – by chance … coincidence … I was standing close to the pieces shortly after arriving and someone that I know walked by – he is one of the recently appointed new teachers on the foundation course just outside of Uppsala, I met him at the County Council’s Christmas dinner. We said hello and I asked if he was in the show, ’no’ he said he was one of the lighting technicians, and he asked if I was exhibiting. ’Yes’ I said and pointed to my work. ’Oh!!!!’ he said ’that was the first piece that I lit – it was my apprenticeship!’ He then apologised for not having read the label and not realising that it was my work! With nearly three hundred pieces to light in a high-profile exhibition I was not surprised that he was focussed in his task rather than seeing who had done what. And I have to say that he, with advice from the senior technician, has done a great job.

It’s going take me some time to digest all the feedback that I got – both verbally and visually … that is what people said to me but also what it is to see my work exhibited like that, in that context and given that attention. For now I will just say that I am truly thankful, and very very grateful.


(my first show with a rope/courdon!)





Just checked in to my treat hotel … I have a view over the National Library – which is literally called the Royal Library – that reminds me that I haven’t yet enquired about seeing the Nils Santesson archives. Nils Santesson was tried and convicted for his homosexuality in 1907 … there’s that year again … he took photographs of Eugène Jansson, his models, and his lover(s) in Eugène’s studio. In addition to personal correspondence and accounts given my a lover’s parents the photographs were part of the evidence presented against Santesson in court. This court case, which ruined Santesson, is regarded as a turning point in public opinion regarding homosexuality. However it was not until 1944 that homosexuality was decriminalised … and although it was decriminalised it became classified as a sickness. So Eugène’s participation in the Verdandi Spring Exhibition is against the backdrop of his friend’s prosecution.

On the train here I received notice that Ashik Zaman, both a selector and curator for Liljevalch’s/Stockholm’s (Sweden’s??) Spring Exhibition had tagged me in an Instagram post – he is a truly active Instagramer! – this post featuring pictures of the preview in Dagens Nyheter (one of the two national quality papers). There is a paragraph refering to the queer work in the show and though no artists are named mine is one of the works that is cited – a colourful collection of ties (’en färggrann slipskollektion’). This is very exciting! In the online version of the paper there is a picture of the work along with my name – my artist friend M alerted me to this in an excited phone call. I got a bit tearful – tears of happines and relief … I am a little nervous now about how I will react this evening.

The online photo is the first glimpse of the work installed (It doesn’t show everything) and I have to say that from what I can see it looks good – plenty of space between the different colour groups. And my name there in print … on DN’s website … in the preview for the Spring Exhibition!

Now to take it easy for a while before getting dressed up and heading off to the ’artists’ preview’ …





1 Comment