I have my laptop at the studio today.
This evening I’m making a presentation to the artists who have studios here at wip:sthlm.
There is never an ideal day or time to do this kind of thing. Friday is the end of the week so people may want to get home and relax, but there are openings on Thursdays and Wednesdays, and no-one goes to events or presentations at the beginning of the week. So it’s Friday and I will present to whoever comes along. I think ‘the offer’ is important.
A friend from London visited earlier this week. We had an interesting discussion about studios – the actual physical spaces that we work in. Like me she was impressed with the quality of the wip:sthlm studios. It was inevitable that we made comparisons with studios we know in London. I have begun to wonder if there is a relationship between the condition of artists’ studios and the enthusiasm to sustain practice. Does having poor conditions sort the wheat from the chaff? Does it ensure that only the truly committed keep turning up? It must have some effect. When I think of how much I have to work to pay for the studio that I can afford it makes me realise how much I must REALLY need it. I can easily imagine that when I doubt myself the studio – the actual physical building –does nothing to re-assure me. The building itself (unlike the studio here) does not tell me that I am worthwhile, that what I do there has meaning or value, that I have a place in the world. In fact with the broken toilet and single cold-water tap, with the raining water running down the walls in the winter and the sweltering heat in the summer, the studio building tells me that I belong in a slum.
I’m not saying that creativity can’t be born out of such conditions – obviously it can (and has been for centuries), but is it what I want?
It was good to have the reality check of a good friend. My life here is so different from how I live in London. For one thing I don’t have to earn money, and that means time is my own. I haven’t been in the studio every day, I’ve taken a few long weekends away and some days just been ‘lazy’. I should also mention that I have been seeing someone too. It was always my plan to come here with an open mind (of course I had a plan b too!) but now I’m really having to think about what is important to me and how I want to spend my time – not just the next two months here but beyond that too …
ps. the week 1 project is still going on. I expect to finish it one Monday (which is week 4 I think – oops!) Other projects have and are starting …