Meeting Elena was like catching up with an old friend! And we have carried on chatting away via email this week too. She is as every bit passionate, humorous, insightful, and intelligent in person as she is on-line. Over a ‘swenglish’ combination of Early Grey tea and cinnamon buns we chatted about art and life the way one does: the things that are catching our interests now, our up-coming bits, inspirational artists (she and the other artists visiting from the UK had been to the fantastic Louise Bourgeois show at Moderna), and how we got to where we are today. By the time the others came back from searching out a paper shop I certainly felt that I had met a kindred spirit.
That morning I ventured out to the collaborative show featuring artists from the UK Scibase and the Swedish Mobile Art groups. It was a lovely morning and I enjoyed the walk thorough an unknown town. It was only when I got the gallery that it dawned on me that perhaps I should have checked in advance to see if Elena would be there. She was not there – she was already in Stockholm! After looking at the show I chatted with the artist who was invigilating and asked her to pass on my best wishes to Elena and Wendy. It was on my way back to the station that I thought to look at Elena’s card that I had picked up, thankfully here phone number was on it. feeling rather dumb for not having been better organised I sent a text. Waiting for the train I contemplated how it was to have met Elena’s art but not her, consoling myself with the thought that it was fine that our friendship remain virtual. As I arrived back in Stockholm my phone rang, it was Susanne – the Swedish artist who had arranged the show – she, Elena and the group were in Old Town and wondered if I would like to meet for tea!
It turns out that I had already met Susanne! She often collaborates with an artist who used to have a studio at Wip, and I had met them both at various openings at the studio and in town. Once again the art world proved itself not to be as big as I sometime imagine it.
May 1st is a bank holiday here, so it has been relatively peaceful here at the studios. The usually busy road outside of my window has been noticeably quiet all day. My intention was to finish writing my text for the publication (catalogue?) that we are making for the end of the course. It does not have to be ready until the end of next week, and perhaps knowing this allows me to become distracted. I am pleased with the opening paragraph, and will continue writing tomorrow. Writing about my own work while I am still making it does not come easily to me. Yesterday while speaking with Kim we discussed how we (us two) can feel the need to say too much and be too conscious of every word. I am now trying to be accurate, playful, poetic, clear, confident, engaging and accessible. Hopefully todays jottings, notes and half finished sentences will enable me to write something comprehensive and enjoyable tomorrow.
On Wednesday afternoon I have at least seven people coming to look at the studio – prospective tenants! I am getting quite emotional about leaving. As I do not have a date to move it has so far remained somewhat unreal. I think that Wednesday might change that!
In the meantime I have not only a text to write but also some art to make! We are installing the show in four weeks and at the moment I have sketches but nothing made. The great news is that I have a meeting on Monday afternoon with the man who is responsible for the island, he likes my proposal for the old bath-house and it looks as though I will be able to use the building as part of my presentation. I do not know the last time that the public had access to it, it could be as long ago as 1923 when the bathing was prohibited due to such poor water quality. Earlier today I ordered several kilos of glitter to make a carpet that will guide visitors through the building!