I think that I might be what you call ’an artist’s artist’.
Other artists at the studio have really responded well to the two Rest (companion pieces), and not only artists but also a very well regarded known curator and writer. The work(s) received considerably less interest from the art associations who made studio visits on Wednesday evening. To be honest I was kind of expecting it. The associations’ primary interest was in buying work for their members’ lotteries, and it was fascinating to see how focused on their task they were! One or two members took time to speak with me about my work, most though made a few polite noises and swiftly moved on.
This is the second time that I have met some of the associations on their buying rounds, and even though I did not sell anything I will continue to participate in such evenings – if nothing else I feel that it is important to show something of the breadth of practices to be found in Uppsala. And who knows maybe in the future we will come to have better understandings of each other … like all dances it takes time to get to know your partner.
Breadth and depth have been on my mind lately, specifically depth. I am referring to my own practice. There is (too) much breadth and insufficient depth. I want to go deeper … but into what? In my application for a recently launched mentoring programme I have asked for a mentor who can help me identify a good way forward. At the moment I find myself circling around and around various things that I could do (return to glitter, stick to shirts, focus on installations, make more marketable objects). What I need is someone with an informed eye and brain to help me see how I can usefully narrow my options, increase the depth, and in doing so hopefully begin to feel a more comprehensive sense direction. I want to be more knowledgeable about what lies ahead of me should I choose this or that particular trajectory. I am not expecting a perfect map but some idea of the terrain would be very useful.
It has only now struck me that I am probably still thinking and acting in the same ways as when I was living in the UK (and it is not as if my ways of thinking and acting were especially effective there). Thinking about it, I have been trying to understand and get into the Swedish way since I arrived here: I took courses at Konstfack and the Royal College, I joined a less than useful mentoring scheme, I sit on several committees, and still I feel outside of it. Perhaps that is just how it is to be an artist living in another country. Perhaps understanding is less important than doing. I am very open to change, what I need is some guidance so that I make the best possible changes. Trying to keep up with all the possible ways of being an artist is exhausting and actually counter productive as it keeps me in that broad and shallow place. I feel as though I am running around in a circle maintaining an equidistance from every destination/goal. My hope for the mentoring (if I am selected) is that together we can identify an appropriate destination for me and that I can start to set sail for it.
In other news …
I am excited and nervous as Supermarket: Stockholm Independent Art Fair approaches. I hope that the Meetings programme goes well. With all the last minute proofreading and some unexpected extra work with one of the committees that I sit on I was later than I would have liked with finalising the programme and getting out to the exhibitors. The email I sent explained that all exhibitors are invited to attend at least one meeting and that if they don’t let me know their preferences that I will allocate them a meeting. I really want to make sure than none of the meeting moderators/hosts finds themselves alone in an otherwise empty meeting room.