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Oslo  |   8 degrees  |  sunny

after a
long long
in a
soft warm bed
drink tea
eat breakfast
look at map
decide to walk
instead of
using metro
can walk through
well known park
on the way to
villa stenersen

check and recharge
fill pockets
with snacks
and head
out of town
past grand buildings
embassies + hotels
down steep steps
along empty streets
past a huge ice rink
past frogner stadium
and outdoor baths
with light blue
curly chutes
and into the
vigeland sculpture park
an installation
created by
gustav vigeland
bronze and granite
men, women, children
standing, jumping
hugging, holding
sitting + staring
over 200 figures
lining the bridge
arranged in groups
the human condition
the circle of life
from death comes life
a lifetimes work
a romantic landscape
at the centre
a monolith
14m tall
121 writhing figures
reaching for the sky
a big erection
you can see for miles
it’s a popular
tourist attraction
the tone is

on and out of the park
cross the busy road
at rows of
suburban villas
find the one
I’m looking for
and walk up
the winding park
it looks quite small
this modernist abode
invited in
by kindly curator
who points to the
coat rack and toilet
and goes back
to her meeting
am left to explore
whole place
is flooded
with sunlight
it’s so hot
remove a
couple of layers
then spend
2 happy hours
photographing this
’30s home
enchanted by it’s
clear curves
glass brick facade
pinkish ripples
drifting across the walls
a downstairs room
with pale lemon curtains
+ a red laquered piano
2 faded chairs
+ a chrome table
sit on a black circle
the bedroom
has a pillar
that spews hot air
surfaces and sills
covered in
in a lustrous
emerald glass
the bathroom suite
is custard yellow
the walls
mottled green
like a gathering
of moss families
2 large chrome
+ hinged mirrors
sit above
twin sinks
for a time
when bathrooms
were rare
stumble into
servant’s quarters
woodwork and doors
cerulean blue
a demarkated zone
small rooms at the top
full of light
and amazing views
of lakes and hills
around the city
photograph + film
this sun-lit afternoon
leaving as the
sun goes down
heading back to town

enter through massive doors
deeply carved
the marble floors
and stairs
are the colour of
raw liver
driven through
with stiletto shaped
could almost
pick them out
colour coded rooms
indicate the centuries
apricot – twentieth
lt blue – nineteenth
terracotta -older stuff etc
the pièce de résistance
munch’s rooms
with the scream
behind obligatory
perspex panel
the sinuous bleeding
oranges and pinks
the chalky greens
and blues
whorl around
the dead-eyed
screaming figure
2 stiff blokes
in ultramarine
hover in the background
two sailing ships
sit in side by side
in the middle distance
quickly trip round
the other stuff
colourful abstracts
stylised figures
matisse followers
the naturalistic nature brigade
+ then an exhib
of woodblock prints
black and white
graphic and subtle
from 18th c japan
to 21th c norway
a good old mix
a contemporary artist
whilst in residence
has taken
a political stance
or détournement
using the floor
as his printing block
the resulting prints
metres square
fill the walls
with talking heads
and political sophistry

back to the pensjonat
for a meal
spinachy pasta
a banana
and a vodka alcopop
apart from
the train
the plane
the underground
another train
that’s it
residency over
back to ‘normal’


Oslo | 8 degrees | foggy

hop on the bus
no moon
to illuminate the way
driver’s headlights
rake miles of
seried tree trunks
chats all the way
about my stay
about the weather
(unusually mild)
about the museums
I should visit
about the vikings
about british
TV programmes
norwegians like-
‘top gear’
‘downton abbey’
a young boy get’s on
he’s sweedish
asks if I am british
and chats away
about how marvellous
the castles are
in england
and how simply
wonderful the fort
in konsvinger is
although he’s
about 16
his english accent
suggests he’s seen
too many movies
from an era
when everyone spoke
like celia johnson
in brief encounter

off bus
onto train
reach Oslo
before 9
bleary eyed
and thick
with unfinished
have coffee
at the station
drag the heavy case
on wobbly weheels
up the long main road
to the palace
round the corner
is cochs pensjonat
home for
the next few days
walk along
old patterned floor tiles
up a dark wooden stairs
up in a coppery lift
a small room
a peachy bedsit
with beds, sofa-bed,table,chairs
hotplate, fridge
en suite with heated floor
cosy, clean
make tea
sleep on bed
for half an hour

head to waterfront
to most modern
piano’s builing
all drooping glassy sails
+ venetian blinds
..not exactly art friendly
acres of smooth concrete
and flat white walls
the art is
usual safe fare
disappointingly so
exhib on appropriation
koons – all meticulous
candy coloured surfaces
sherman – borrowed types
of female roles
prince – cowboys, pastiches
car bonnets
gober – odd sinks
supposedly eerie
tho’ it’s
hard to be eerie in
a white concrete box
just one photo
catches my eye
charles ray
2 small self portraits
side by side
man fixed to wall
by a plank
in the collection
usual suspects
keifer, polke
hirst, emin,
plus painting from
later period of
american pop artists
(born in 70’s)
it’s as if
all american artists
can say is
…hey we’re into
the world of advertising
and isn’t it something …
banal in every way
no humour
though there is one
entirely covered
in blue hair
no subversion
no sideways look
little text panels
tell you exactly what
is there
no surprises
no unimagined insights
no space for speculation
or contemplation
sit in
media lounge
with looped video
of a man
in sparkly blazer
falling off a chair
over and over and over
accompanied by
electric organ music
sit in forcefully designed
red chair
flick though
glossy art books
enjoy one
on brazilian contemporary art
containing art
everything that is
absent from exhibition
variety, complexity
confusion, exuberance
playfulness, tactility
that’d make a
good exhibition!

walk through the fog
past nobel peace prize centre
..that’s happening this week
back up through
the city
it’s really quite small
nothing fancy
steady + assured
at the centre is
the winter market
a ferris wheel
decked with tiny lights
stalls in wooden chalets
sell knitted goods
and doughnuts
hot dogs
and waffles
and something
that smells fishy
+ socks, hats, shawls
all v jovial

back at base
eat a hot
panini and
a cup of tea
take photos
of the
v white bathroom
then plan
tomorrow’s excursion


Austmarka  |  0 degrees  |  sunny

last day
in austmarka
the days
have passed
faster + faster
not sure
there’ll be much
to show
for such
a luxurious +
unprecedented amount
of time spent
mucking about with materials
testing things out
will be sorry
to leave behind
the generous studio
and dramatic outdoors
daily trudge across
largely people free landscape
the bitter + brittle cold
(weirdly !)
the quiet + unhurried pace
casual conversations
about stuff like
photography, politics
education, history
food, christmas
not so sorry
to leave behind
the blandish food
+ lack of wine
having cold feet
in the middle of the night
slamming doors
popcorn popping
people living
a nocturnal life
not being able to
just go somewhere
(apart from Kongsvinger)
and back
in a day

last trip
to shop
toilet roll
ran out
loop back
round the village
past the
unfenced-in school
the pointy-steepled church
a flooded field
over the bridge
the black river
that links
the top lake
to the bottom
musing on the
civility of
this place
which appears
(after 3 weeks!)
well resourced
and designed
and generous
not shouty or

sort and shuffle
disentangle and discard
all the stuff
that’s accumulated
around me
dried up lichen
fir cones
mortar found at
nearby fortress
gluey blobs
broken sticks
bits of card
scribbled notes
and messages
the table’s
almost clear
pack the case
with wobbly wheels
stuff back-pack
with what’s left over
secrete gerkiny pickle
amongst the jumpers
and socks
set to go
before sun-up
the young guy
from Taiwan wants
to come to the
bus stop
and say


Austmarka  |  8 degrees  |  grey

sunday morning
a grey day
a thin sweater
one pair of socks
have a bit of a plan
go into the woods
next to the studio
the parallel line thing
find the sticks
earlier in the week
additions + adjustments
in the trees
all the verticality
with sets of diagonals
and horizontals
can’t make
a neat knot
every-time I do
it’s different
straggly and untidy
rub over
the white string
with mud and moss
to hide
the crap-ness
not tall enough
to reach v high
+ the ladder’s vanished
can see the
lines now
from the studio
need about
100 more sticks
to make
it really something

in the studio
plan a small
form makeshift plinths
with bits of wood
for the burner
old chair parts
legs and wedges
sidebars and backs
make certain rules
as I go
3 pieces only
a base, a post, a top
on the plinths
spagetti sculptures
takes all morning
take some
but need the sun
to bring
it alive

a good morning’s work
eat an unmemorable
sit around
reading, thinking
plan and photocopy
metro maps and
directions for
and museums
in Oslo
drift in and out
of emails,
news items
is there a storm
in the UK ?
internet works
for some things
not others
fiddled around
on security
to get rid of
norwegian pop-ups
but seem to
have lost
something in the process

from morning to evening
it’s darkish
can’t tell
the time of day
by the light
suddenly goes
from 4 to 7pm and
it all looks the same
some domestic stuff
to do
hoover and clean
a bit
put on some washing
re-charge batteries
then cook up some
pølse into a big
sausagey stew
red peppers, tomatos
beans, chilli
+ mashed potato
fills me up
slows me down
spend the
evening on the sofa
watching all sorts
of rubbishy stuff
on youtube
bit of this
and that
but addicted to
back to back
of black books
to laughter
can’t believe how
old it is
was quite young


Austmarka  |  5 degrees  |  dark + damplooking out
first thing
the grubby sky
is touching
the ground
the road
is sticky and slippery
water is trickling
and rushing
don’t need a hat
or gloves
from the shop
get bread
satsumas, a pear
decide to give
the pølse
a go
they look like
fat frankfurters
the owner
how are things going?
he suggests
a trip to
5 hours away
it’s friendlier there

the video stuff
is on the
back burner
the programme
keeps crashing
it eats up the time
giving so
little back
some artists
hand over the
making of stuff
to others
less painful
but that
a degree
of clarity
about intentions
that simply
don’t exist
here and now

after a cheese
(so bland)
sandwich +
gerkiny pickle
a change of scene
huddle up
on the sofa
with a film
in the spirit
of all things
you tube provides
some Bergman films
The Rite (1969)
shot in
black + white
strange characters
actors perhaps
engaged in
arcane and
bizarre behaviour
being grilled
by a judge
in frequent
close ups
they are
lined, textured
swaying bewteen
agression + torpor
intense and
complict in
something dark
and priapic
…not many laughs

the evening
drags on
sit and construct
with card and glue
architectual forms
on a v small scale
quite pleasing
to do whilst
listening to
on audio