Well I have arrived! The journey from Edinburgh was smooth, apart from having to negotiate Schipol airport with minimum transfer time. I was met in Tampere from the bus from Helsinki by Reeta, who drove me out to Arteles, and got me settled into my own flat with my own kitchen. We did stop off at the supermarket on the way, but I have to say the last thing one wants to do after a long flight is to shop in ANY supermarket, never mind one where nothing makes any sense!
The place is fantastic, in the middle of the country, surrounded by forest and lakes, with very little noise from any passing traffic.
The forest is full of blueberries, which has to be one of my favourite fruits.
and before long i was given my first introduction (since 1969!) to a real Finnish sauna…..
I was the first to arrive, but the following day, the other artists arrived – from Belgium, Australia, Japan, Glasgow, New York and Paris. I am by far the oldest of the bunch – which I thought might be difficult to begin with, but I think it will be fine… I just can’t get to grips with being older!
The big challenge on this residency will be to decide which direction to go in to make work, or rather to do the research in order to make work on return. It was so difficult to pack a minimum survival art kit – and so I have brought a completely random set of materials and tools. But they will have to suffice – as any further purchases will either have to be brought home or left behind – neither of which options really appeal.
beginning to find ways to play….the first avenue was to start drawing on the i-pad – can be carried everywhere but not good to work with the bright sunlight as it’s impossible to see the screen. Then I started to fill two of my selection of soft-backed sketch books… each of which will take days to complete. I think this has to be the task – to collect research material for work on return.
So what to research?
I want to explore what the words THE NORTH mean to me – on a broad context level – as this will tie in with other work done in Iceland both last year and next year…
but on a more local level, I find I am drawn into the forest every day, but frustrated by the fact that there are no trodden paths to explore… everywhere is really overgrown, and it’s really easy to get lost. Hence an idea to find a safe space amongst the trees and to try to define it in terms of its boundaries/characteristics/ focal points… that’s an idea for starters…
some images of first drawings will follow.