Austmarka  |  2 degrees  |  dull

am not
the first up
tho’ its not late
visit Joker
(the village shop)
to stock up
not much
green stuff here
mooch around
in search of tasty stuff
alien floaty things in jars
pale lumpen sausages
christmas fare
lumps of gristle
none of these appeal
select small pack
of smoked salmon

make a list
look at photos/films
taken so far
they lack cohesion
or overarching theme
land + weather
need a rythmn
a pattern
a recurring motif
to set things off
blue touchpaper
has not yet been lit !
more soup
with bread and cheese
which is exceptionally
then an afternoon
on the sofa
with a film
for research purposes
really !
The Shining
it’s landscape
and weather
seem apt
something to jolt
the senses
overhead shots
of pointy mountains
following a car
on a ribbon
of road
camera arrives
at the
Overlook Hotel
a grand and spacious
beguiled by
Béla Bartók
Krzysztof Penderecki
percussive tinkling
and twanging
thin drawn out strings
Nicholson’s face
is demonic
eyebrows animated
by psychopathy
he types with
his son trundles
a bike
down long corridors
all flowery wallpaper
and geometric capets
Mrs Torrence
stands around
a knife in hand
and screams
in a pantomime way
a lot

for supper
a huge pile of pancakes
lemon and sugar
indulgent and sticky
then start
on a complicated
stellar form
based on
Kingsvinger fortress
…using spaghetti
it takes on
a life
of it’s own
triangulated tentacles
filled in
with parallel lines
on and on
’till gone midnight


Austmarka | 10 degrees | dull

eat breakfast
without 2 sweaters
and a scarf
it’s almost warm

faff around
with this and that
write out a
daily plan
make soup
using up
sad looking veg
the sky presses down
outside looks downcast
stumble in nearby woods
collecting long sticks
of grey elder
to make something
to get outside
my head
but it’s damp
and brittle
cut and snap
to different lengths
leave in a pile

venture down
the garden
felled trees
all about
lie on a hefty pile
and watch the sky
the tops of trees
shivering in the breeze
strangley peaceful
to be horizontal-ish
in the landscape
a submissive position
for a dog or cat
walk through the wood
down to the river
over a small green bridge
following a man
in a hi-vis jacket
past chalet style houses
with ramshackle yards
a car in a pit
overgrown with

if there is
nothing distinct
to separate
today from yesterday
it all begins to merge
there is
no grand plan
no defining artwork
no shift of direction
just a stumbling
over motifs
and gestures
trying to avoid
action replays
of previous
photographing landscape
a thing to do
in a place like this
a site specific
knee-jerk action
filming this and that
the water, the forests
the hillsides and
wooden houses
that’s what’s here
to see
here, you can walk
anywhere you like
if it’s
not fenced or farmed

back in the studio
unhappy with
Premiere Pro
but seems important to
learn it somehow
it requires
a methodical approach
‘a workflow’ system
if you like
prefer an intuitive and
speculative approach
a playing with
shape and form
with sounds and image
anyway ….
spend the evening
looking at maps
playing with a torch
and a mirror
on and off
you Tube
restless in this
eerie place


Kongsvinger | minus 2 degrees | v. foggy

up at six
to catch the only bus
..a yellow one
to town
sitting in the warm
we quietly trundle
through black pine forests
past dark, glassy lakes
and brittle bogs
by an enormous
fullish moon
that swings
from one side of the bus
to the other
as we follow
the twisty road
in peripheral vision
2 moons can be seen
at once
the real
and the reflected
drinking in
the pearly luminosity
an uncanny feeling

the station up ahead
suddenly appears
we alight
it’s 7.20
it’s dark
and foggy
the Canadian artist
gets a train
to Bergen
at the kiosk
we get hot coffee
me and the young man
(my daughter’s age)
doing his Masters
at Taipei

can’t see much ahead
the fog’s so thick
we follow
the high street up
to Kongsvinger festning
a fortress
(a recurring form)
a lovely star shaped structure
from the 1670’s
it is modest
in scale and form
looking down on the
somber river Glomma
the stoney walls
part historical testament
to an erratc past
part hotel
a stange place
with zig-zag patterned doors
(photographed with relish)
a mustard coloured armoury
empty and silent

the nearby museum
is modern
neat and tidy
product of a
logical and ordered
sense of time + place
bonnets, chairs, linen shirts
butter moulds + clunky tables
an elegant sledge
perfect for a snow queen
upstairs in what looks like
a lecture room/office
a display of posters
by Gunnar Østbøll
kind of 50’s 60’s advertising
flat colour and graphic
light, fresh

all else is shut
for winter
the art gallery + women’s museum
walk down
through Øvrebyen
past old wooden cottages
dark pink and yellow
dark grey and red
bohemian and gemütlich
tiny lights and big white berries
dot the bushes
not much else to see
through the lifting fog
shops and cafés
government offices
back on the bus
in daylight
we doze
when we try
to get off
the bus driver asks
‘are you from the art house?’
we nod
‘relax, sit down – I take
you there’

mid afternoon
as evening light descends
I wander
up the lane
with the Norwegian artist
skirting the lake
and up into the forest
dark and not
especially invinting
she thinks we
might see
an Elk (or Moose)
she once found
one, dead, in the woods
took it home
to fester and moulder
in her garden
til all flesh had gone
to draw
her parents have it now
no Elk in sight
not far is a pink castle
built for a Queen
when Norway + Sweden
were one
here the air was clear
and fresh
so here she moved
we pass a few houses
with numerous outbuildings
the older ones
have outdoor larders
wood storage
bake houses
from when they baked
local bread
just once a year
everyone helped
to mix and roll
the grainy mixtue
rolled into thin sheets
to be baked
and kept all year.

into the night
we sit in the studio
I make angular structures
the Norwegain artist
watches 3rd series
of The Bridge
excited, I wonder
do I have time to watch
that too ?


Austmarka  |  3 degree  |  overcast

sleep late
speed through breakfast
avoid the news
focus on muesli

spend the morning in the studio
with the Norwegian artist
we look at each other’s work
talk about Venice
she visited this year
the Norwegian pavilion
so we look at Camille Normant
who has broken her windows
finding interesting ways
of framing + re-framing
a fabulous space
am inspired by this pavilion
with trees growing
through it
she liked the French piece
a moving tree
complete with root ball
…am not so sure
Sarah Lucas, she thought
childish and poorly made
in photos it looks like
teenage boys
have been let loose
on some mannikins
throw-away gestures
that amuse and deflate
recently saw
Rose Wylie’s paintings
in Tønsberg
and was enamoured of her work
we watch the Frieze film
RW in her garden in Kent

the hours disappear
it’s hard to hold onto them
went in search of materials
need to make something
plan a. was
to focus on making
some video stuff
but need to get lost
in constructing
resort to
spaghetti and pva
a pleasing combo
though not enduring
I follow the shapes
and patterns of
Brutalist architecture
liking the severe
and truncated forms
the planes and the angles
confounding conformity
I sit up sticky fingered
cack handed with pasta
the spindly forms lack
the right mass and volume
but recall the brass mobiles
of Kennth Martin
miss iPlayer
so listen
to audio books online
often so terrible
they’re just noise
in my ear

tomorrow we get out of the village
catching the early bus to town


Austmarka  |  3 degrees   |  fog

before getting up
there was the world of
Norwegian writer
(Karl Ove Knausgaard)
exact, descriptive
he is moved
by Constable’s sketches of clouds
and fears his responses
to art
are not appropriate
reckoning the emotional
is frowned upon, dismissed
in contemporary art
it’s possibly true
am thinking –
isn’t it possible
to be moved by the rational-
a complex sum
an engineering diagram ?
to recognise impartiality
as being shaped by context ?
to experience something
theoretical happening in front of us?
the distinctions
are less compelling
than the muddle
in between
but nothing new here I guess…

too much thinking
before breakfast ….
am first up
breakfast taken
with BBC news
skimming stories
Obama on Turkish air strikes
at home Osbourne ensures
we mainline austerity
as his chums fill their pockets
but back to tea and toast
it’s maybe a 1 sweater day
noticeably warmer
but damp and drear

head out
for milk
some appealing
green pickle stuff
quickly coated with mist
follow main road
feels like dusk
is not yet midday
past the old
raw red timber mill
a four-square yellow house
a long low school
no fences or barriers
things just peter out
a white wooden church
with moss coloured spire
doors wide open
lights shine brightly
from within
rough hewn squares and rectangles
of granite and stone
lean against a low wall
ahead a map on a post
points me back

afternoon closes in
on the ample studio
the washing machine
floods the floor
back to the video editing
fussy and fiddly
menus, tools and drop-downs
guided by a tutorial
by someone who ends every instruction
with ‘there you go guys’
not getting very far
editing is quite boring
am not patient
test out the mini projector
laptop to projector
connection doesn’t work
SD card does work
but slow
project onto small white sheet
results negligible

over a meal the Norwegian artist
tells of her travels
around the world
getting inspired by new places
about public art in Norway
making work in well-designed
schools + hosptials,
in an old people’s home
a concert hall
in a police station even

can you imagine the
Daily Mail headlines ?
£xx million
spent on art
for criminals, the sick, elderly + children !