Supermarket day 0

It was lovely to catch-up with even more friends and colleagues yesterday as the fair really kicked off with the Forum (professional networking event) which was immediately followed by the vip and the preview evening. Over the years I have come to accept the slightly shambolic nature of Supermarket openings … the very unscripted and unrehearsed opening remarks of the directors, the confusion over the Forum programme, the odd period where it’s unclear if people are able to get a drink or not. It always ends well with the buzz of excited conversations, happy reunions, and new encounters.

During the day I had borrowed some additional chairs from a local charity shop and I am really pleased to have created a very different feeling Meeting Room – it will be interesting to see if people show any preference.

As always I am nervous about the Meetings programme and really hope that hosts get something out of it … it’s the hosts that I am most concerned about – they give a lot and I want them to get something back. So far the lowest registrations are for Pam and my meetings. I am not bothered if my meeting is cancelled but I would really bad if Pam’s has very few participants – I know that she has put a lot of thought and preparation in to it. There is still time to drum up interest … so that is what Johanna (the Meetings volunteer) and I will be doing.

I had an email reminding me to reply to a question as to whether I was interested in taking part in the new iteration of the Verdandi student association spring show – this is the event where, in 1907, Eugène Jansson showed his ’naked athletes’ for the first time. It feels like it is an opportunity that I simple can not miss. I have suggested that I can make a short presentation about my Eugène in Uppsala project and /or exhibit something. Meeting the contemporary Verdandi group and being a part of their spring show has to be a part of my project!





Supermarket days -2 and -1

As soon as I arrive at this apartment time begins to collapse and it is as if Supermarket 2023 was yesterday. Arriving at the venue on Monday morning, greeting my colleagues, seeing the logo, feeling the fair starting to take shape only serves to amplify the sense of familiarity … we talk about the Supermarket family … and after fourteen years of involvement I am definitely a part of the family.

Supermarket has become the most familiar thing that I do … and I guess in the way of families it is always the same and always different … it is a living and evolving thing … and I love it – I love being a part of it.

My fourth year as Meetings coordinator and I am finding my stride, there’s still an underlying sense of being a fraud … and that will probably always be there … I just pay it less attention and get on things. So the rooms are almost set-up, one with the usual anonymous ’event hire’ plastic table and chairs, and one – new for 2024! – with sofa and chairs borrowed from a local charity shop. This cosy room is very much inspired by my trip to the Juxtapose fair in Aarhus. Yesterday afternoon I saw that the room was occupied but a group of exhibitors. I wondered what they were talking about however I didn’t want to intrude … I was happy that they found the space inviting and conducive to discussion.

It is lovely spending time with John – if ease of conversation after a period of absence is a measure of friendship then we are indeed very good friends. I could arrive at the fair at least a day later than I do – I don’t have so much that requires me to be on-site for two full days before the first exhibitor event – though if I were to do this I would miss out on all that ’soft’ stuff that gives me so much … time with John as he/we sets up the exhibitors lounge, those warm hugs and exchanges with exhibitors who I have gotten to know over the years, being there to help with things when someone else needs a pair of hands – yesterday working with Alice to install work in a booth were the exhibitors themselves were unable to come even though the ’exhibits’ had already been sent (from Australia).

I had a good chat with Antonie – who like me always has so much going on. I had been hoping that she would be at the fair in one capacity or another I had recently seen that she is working with a young commercial gallery and I wanted to know more. Within minutes she was saying that we should definitely meet with the gallery owner/director and that she had already mentioned me on several occasions. I saw that Antonie is with the gallery when I was looking for information about artworks that a colleague at Region Uppsala had bought – two artists who the region has recently bought something from are with the gallery … I am of course very intrigued and excited by the idea of meeting the gallery owner … knowing that Antonie is with them is a great stamp of approval, knowing that my colleagues buy from them only adds to my interest.

Last night I did something playful, adventurous, brave(?), fun … spurred on by the excitement of the fair I bought tickets for a trip to New York in late August. I am going to go see this year’s Met Fashion Exhibit – Sleep Beauties which will be a once in a life time opportunity to see pieces from their fantastic archive. I still can’t quite believe that I did it … but I did! Something in me has shifted and I have found a ’lust for life’ … a desire ’to let the crazy out’ …




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On leaving Liljevalchs (Spring Exhibition, closing day) yesterday afternoon it occurred to me how fortunate I am not to have to depend on selling my work for income. It means that I can continue to produce what I want and need to produce without having to think about it’s marketability or potential for sale. I noted that I was in quite good company – regarding not selling at the Spring Exhibition – I can’t comment on the other artists’ financial situation.

My fantasy is that in the coming days and weeks I will hear from buyers who want to purchase works directly from me … either wanting me to receive the whole cost (rather than the price minus the gallery’s commission), or hoping for a lower price (the gallery’s commission rate is public knowledge as it is a city council venue). I know that fantasies rarely become realities but I am allowing myself to dream.

I have had a great deal of very positive feedback on the work and that is really good. I have some good photographs and that is important. I feel as though I have reached a milestone in becoming a part of the Swedish art-scene. I had a really good spot … a whole wall … in what is usually the last room that people visit – I was given the honour of making the last(ing) impression – and that is something to cherish.


I am someone who needs to be active … some friends worry that I never seem to relax, and to be honest I find it hard both do that and to understand the concept of ’doing nothing’. There is always something to do and/or something to be done. I need to be active both physically and mentally. Ten days since stepping down as chair of the Uppsala Artists’ Club I am aware that my mind is now full of thoughts that simply couldn’t find space while my brain was so exercised by all that was going on with and in the club.

Almost immediately the AGM ended I found myself revisiting and developing ideas about Uppsala Open Studios, and Uppsala Art Weekend – two events that I want to see here. Save for a few notes on my chalkboard all the ideas are in my head. A while back, perhaps in anticipation of no longer being chair, I registered that I want to reactivate Glitter Ball showroom & projects. Yesterday after looking at the website of an artists’ project in Sheffield – I had listened to an online talk by the artists currently exhibiting there – ideas about what Glitter Ball could become became clearer … and it’s very exciting.

It’s as if my mind has a certain capacity … needs a certain capacity … so when my mind is no longer exercised by one thing it finds another. It’s exciting that in removing demanding activities connected with the ’greater good of the club’, I find myself focussing on demanding activities connected with the greater good of myself!

Some notes:

Uppsala Open Studios: a weekend (Friday afternoon/evening through to Sunday afternoon) where as many as possible studios in Uppsala are open. The weekend is a stand-alone – that is it is not part of another event or programme. Each studio decides its level of participation and engagement. The Hospital Studio Association will be the lead studio. Funding for a coordinator (me) to be sought from the city council. Aim – to expose our studio practices to curators, gallerists, collectors, and administrators as well as to a general public. Spring May/June

Uppsala Art Weekend: a weekend (Friday afternoon/evening through to Sunday afternoon) featuring exhibitions and events at the galleries, museums, arts venues here in Uppsala. The weekend is a stand-alone event. Each venue decides its level of engagement for example an exhibition opening, an artist’s presentation, guided tours, a workshop, late night opening, anything else that adds value to the institutions existing programme. Funding for a coordinator is needed. Aim – to generate and stimulate interest in visual arts venues and programmes in Uppsala. Marketed and promoted to curators, collectors, agents, administrators, commissioners, gallerists. Autumn October/November

Glitter Ball showroom & projects: an arts projects focusing on early- and mid-career LGBTQI+ and marginalised artists. Develop a symbiotic model of activity/practice. Pop-up events, interventions, programme events including talks, discussions, workshops. Presence at independent art fairs (Juxtapose, Supermarket etc). Uppsala based, active in Uppsala, Stockholm, London and UK … Curatorial and programme projects in other spaces and countries. Brand some my own projects as Glitter Ball projects.  Questions: formal/registered association? venue/nomadic/untethered? membership?




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I have resigned from my job in Enköping … and it feels, to be honest, both great and more than a little odd. I am going to miss running the actual workshops – spending time with the children, young people, and families that I have worked with over six, almost seven, years. I have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting fantastic, creative, challenging, inspiring, focussed, engaged, wonderful people of all ages. I am going to miss them … I already have since starting my sabbatical.

My ambition when I took the role (in 2017) was to run the kind of programme(s) that my young and early teenage self enjoyed and wanted more of. There was nothing for the odd and arty kids in my suburban hometown but there were art classes every Saturday at the technical college in a town not too far away. I loved those classes, I progressed from the ’junior’ to the ’senior’ class, and was delighted to meet some of those tutors when, a few years later, I did my art foundation course at the same college.

I really don’t think that it is an exaggeration to say that art school saved my life – I acknowledged this many many years ago. Without that safe space in which I was able to define myself I truly doubt that I would be around today … and even if I was then I would be far less healthy and authentic. Perhaps that is why I was so invested in my work in Enköping, perhaps that is why I found the increasing restrictions so upsetting and so hard to work with.

Part of me (still) wants to continue and to fight for the creative … alternative … other … space that I managed to carve out and make available, but part of me realised that the frustrations and obstacles were out of proportion and that I was putting myself in too dangerous of a situation to carry on. The chasm between the me that ran the workshops and the me that had to deal with the bureaucratic and political inertia was becoming too vast for me to make the necessary leaps from side to side. I was in danger of falling into the abyss.

With distance I can see just how stressful I found the situation, and how I could not find a way to stop caring and ’just’ do what was possible. I could see the potential for truly great things to happen and I felt thwarted at every turn. The ’what was possible’ simply became too little for me to deliver with any sense of pride, integrity, or authenticity.

I am still finding my feet in my new job. It’s a different proposition but I hope that I bring the same commitment and enthusiasm to it … it’s still about opening up visual art … making it accessible … putting out there in people’s everyday lives, it’s just that this time I am working with objects rather than processes.