I have started learning to speak Mandarin. I’m really excited about it. In fact I’m pretty excited about everything right now. On Thursday last week the stress turned to excitement and I felt that great achievement/when a plan comes together/isn’t life great/isn’t art great euphoria and remembered why I put myself in these challenging positions despite the stress that comes with them.
I met with Kirsty Hall from the Victoria Gallery and Museum as I will be running a short painting with oils workshop there alongside their Liverpool Biennial exhibition by Susan Forsyth. Susan has made these ‘Art Sheds’ which each contain an object to draw or paint and really lovely materials to do that with. The sheds are pink with a golden roof. They are funny but the exhibition is serious as well. She has accompanied the sheds with a room of wall based artwork which she chose out of the VGM collections. They are just pieces that she likes and sometimes with a Liverpool connection. Susan has also written something little about each one and why she chose it. I think it’s an all round successful exhibition and people have been making art in the Art Sheds and when they present it to reception they get a medal. It sounds like the public are interacting really well with it and hopefully it will inspire them or they will learn something or both. Anyway the meeting with Kirsty went really well and I went from being a bit unsure to knowing exactly what I’m doing and being confident about delivering the workshop. It’s on October anyway so I have ages to plan.
Then straight after that I met with Eric the Chinese PHD student to speak about doing a language exchange, but actually we just started doing the language exchange there and then. Eric is very clever and a nice guy and a very good teacher seeing as he’s meant to be a mechanical engineer. I have been practicing the words he taught me. Mandarin is hard, especially getting the pronunciation right. Letters can have different accents on them which change the way you say them and can give them all completely different meanings. Eric is not really called Eric, he’s called Zhixiang but Chinese people often give themselves western names to be helpful to us, so he said I need to choose a Chinese name for when I go there. Eric has come up with Ruo Xi which means ‘the sun light during the sun rise’. Isn’t that nice!
After my Mandarin lesson I walked back through Liverpool in the beautiful sun and saw the amazing giant girl from the giant spectacular asleep in ChinaTown which only added to my excitement and just confirmed my view that Liverpool is the best place in the world to live. Now I know that may sound like a bit of an unfounded megajump however I have thought about this for some time and I do think I could construct a good argument if you take all areas of a city into account including the country that it is in, music, comedy, art, diversity, food… Andy says my theory is unjust as I haven’t tried living in any other countries but I am never going to live in all of the other countries, that’s just not possible, but it shouldn’t prevent me from fighting the Liverpool corner and then challenging anyone who thinks they can think of a better city to give a counterargument.
We saw the Giant Spectacular again on Friday and Sunday. Here are some photos. I had a great time on the Sunday, they are magical!
Ok finally, I am preparing for my commission with SevenStreets for Liverpool International Music Festival. Andy helped me today to make a frame that will hold it up and I am filled with relied that it worked. Andy’s dad really needs to take the credit as he designed it. Am I just as bad as Hirst getting the minions to paint the spots and Emin handing over the stitching? Still more to do but it’s coming together. OMG I’ve just remembered I forgot to pick up my laser cutting!!