Viewing single post of blog Project Me

A considerable drive to pick-up a sewing machine that I had bought on the Swedish equivalent of Ebay gave me plenty of time to think about the programme that I have been planning as part of my upcoming show at the Artists’ Club in Uppsala. In the light of the recent re-introduction of restrictions regarding the number of people per ten square meters of floor space each gallery at the club house can only accommodate five people att any one. This includes the artist/invigilator.


I have already received an email regrettably informing me that there would be no vernissage for the show – the dates of the show will be publicised without mention of an opening event. Nor can I promote Friday Fikas, or the finishage that I had planned. I might feel differently closer to the time but for now I can not really see the point of organising these things if they will not be what I intended them to be – gatherings of people. If I can’t let people know about them in advance then I can’t assemble a significant number of people around a specific time point. The aim was not simply to give visitors tea and cake, it was to create an easy atmosphere where, over tea and cake, discussion would develop and evolve. It would feel very wrong to set up a situation where a few (four) people are offered tea and cake, and anyone else who turns up while we are enjoying our fika is turned away. Such a scenario goes very much against my ambition for inclusion. I also do want to put the fika guests in the situation where they could feel that they are ’blocking’ accessibility.

I thought that the finishage would be an opportunity for people who had visited during the ’live work’ to return and spend more time in the space, again I imagined discussions between people who had seen different stages of the live work, or that I would even orchestrate introductions and discussions between people Again this seems a little inappropriate knowing that I will need to be mindful that there could be people waiting to come in.
With the previous similar restriction I noticed in both my own behaviour and that of visitors to the Enköping gallery that visits were conducted almost hurriedly as though not wanting to occupy the space for too long. While it may happen that a particular visitor may stay longer than others planning events which encourage all to linger currently feels like poor judgement.


And then there are the workshops! Driving through miles of twinkly snowy landscape I flitted between thinking that they could of course go ahead – they are outside of the regular opening hours and could be offered to small groups, to thinking that they too should be shelved – they would be too far from what I envisioned for them to be enjoyable … for me to find them enjoyable! The email that I received did not mention whether or not the workshops could be promoted. Even if they can be, do I want to run a workshop for four people? Could I run a workshop where I keep at least one and a half meters from the participants, and the participants keep that far from each other? I had imagined a larger group sitting around a table working and chatting together. Am I being inflexible not re-imagining how I could work in the current situation? Nothing that I was offering is so urgent that it can not wait until things are looking better … by which I mean after my show.

I don’t need to make a decision immediately about the workshops, I can talk it through with friends and colleagues next week when everyone is back from the Christmas break. But at the moment my preference is to postpone them.



In other news …
I am absolutely delighted that Uppsala District Council have bought one of the Trophy series. It means a great deal to me that one of my works will be in their public collection. I know the public art team and the collection from working with them on the Under the Same Rainbow project last year. Many (most!) of the established Uppsala artists whom I know are represented in the collection as well as a good selection of contemporary artists from the whole of Sweden. Hearing about this just a couple of weeks before Christmas was a wonderful surprise and a very welcome early Christmas present!



1 Comment