Last night there was an opening in the gallery here at the studios – a painting show. It was very nice to find myself speaking with one of artists (a Finn living in Berlin) and realising that we know some of the same people in London. Later on and talking to another ‘wip’ artist he told me about his show in Norway which it turns out is curated by people that I know there. Perhaps it is time to re-consider my current feelings of being invisible and adrift …
Writing is on my mind. Partly due to my reading of Enrique Martinez Celaya*’s writings and partly due to the number of writing exercises that we do on my new Swedish course. These two parts are however miles apart: one being the thoughtfully constructed words of an intelligent (and humble) artist, the other being an assortment of poorly thrown together Swedish substantives, verbs and adjectives with the hope that they come close to being a clear and simple sentence. Moving between these two word worlds is dizzying. Despite my attempts to resist I find it very hard not to try and write in Swedish in the same way that I write (and read) in English – and at this stage it is just not possible. The sense of frustration at not yet being able to write (or say) what I think is new to me.
It would be interesting to know how my fellow students experience the same sense of having a divided self – part capable and eloquent, part incapable and dumb. It is not that I want these two parts to level out, I want the less able part to reach at least the level of the more able if not to succeed it. The irony is that in our primary school Swedish we are unable to discuss anything approaching this!
With the new course I am back to having just afternoons in the studio. In December I will sit for a National Test along with all the other course students. Already I find myself looking forward to January and starting again with part-time studying.
A parcel of ties arrived this week. They are from a good friend’s partner whose father recently died. Although we had discussed her sending them to me on the phone and I was expecting them it is an entirely different thing to unwrapping them and sitting with them in my lap. I do not know what to do with them. The previous pieces I have made with second-hand ties play on a rather crude double-entendre that seems wholly inappropriate for these ties. The anonymity of things from charity shops affords fantasies that familiarity does not. I have a feeling it will be some time before I am able to work with these ties.
* His show at Andersson / SandstrÃ¶m is wonderful. There are two paintings in particular that appeal to me, The Confession and The Early Hunger.