reconnecting, attuning, integrating

art, recent work

During the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered), a forgotten painting from thirty years ago was brought into the light… Someone found it touching, somehow – because of the lapis lazuli blue? the mere size and shape of the paper? the little “tadpole” figure? the black charcoal circle? I can’t tell. But there it was, for the first time publicly on display.

220512 10c

from day 3 of ‘the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered)’

I was touched, too – reconnecting with the long gone place in my life where this image emerged. A feeling resonating from there to now, setting me in tune again. Urging me to respond from another me. To review the elements – their size, brightness, depth, materiality, tactility; to rethink the proportions and composition; to find a new provider of lapis lazuli pigment; to find a way of mounting the large paper for permanent display.

The lapis lazuli pigment changes in a remarkable way with the changing qualities of light; from the midday or afternoon sky, or from electric lightning. An Orthodox rabbi’s wife passes me a quote from an artist whose name she doesn’t remember: “blue is the light coming into being”.

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We’re still in the undetermined process of integration. Proceeding with care.

Business

art, painting

The driving force of the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) may have been about re-imagining an existing body of work, and co-creating in the here-and-now; yet, the creative drift is inseparably followed by a shadow called economy. Landlords and art material dealers rarely give their goods away; artists have basic human needs as well. Most of us therefore work part or full time in parallel professions (salaried). Hence, I feel the importance of recognizing when someone steps up, willing to actually pay for the artist’s work; especially when that someone is an individual with limited resources, who just happens to be touched by what they experience. This post is for you – to acknowledge the importance of your support; for the artist, it means encouragement and economic relief. For the artwork itself, it means fulfillment. 

above: Snowdrop (left); Spring snowflake (right);
charcoal, chalk and watercolour on paper,
each 120 x 175 cms
below: car packed, heading for home

customers

Dear customers from near and far – I’m deeply grateful for our exchanges: for hours spent together under the hot studio roof, meticulously packing two large drawings for a long car transport; for the spirited talk and delicious ice chocolate cake shared in a beautiful 19th century Stockholm apartment; for all your sensitivity and recognition; and for the influx to my bank account, as well as to Médecins Sans Frontiers (as part of a deal). I hope your purchases keep giving you joy, each day to come!

191211 03b diary painting (Miriam Wolff)
diary painting 191211 03,
oil and blackboard paint on wood panel;
40,5 x 20 cms

Notes from the Nordic Summer University II

art, curating, recent work, time-out

During the week-long NSU session, I got engaged in a couple of ‘ad hoc’ projects (in addition to my presentation within Circle 7, which was the ticket to my participation here). The first one happened in the context of a cultural evening.* Together with a number of courageous persons, I staged an updated performance of a multilingual poetry reading first realized in August 2014.**

evening-of-modern-ukrainian-poetry_small

2014 poster – for full story, see Training the Fundamentals of a Democratic Society

The original project sprung from a poem by Ukrainian author Tanya-Mariya Litvinyuk. In this re-staging, Ms. Litvinyuk is actually present through a sound recording sent from Kyiv the day before; her voice is heard from the laptop at the beginning. Then follows an English translation, read by Dr. Lucy Lyons, after which the English reading proceeds with ten words (all singled out from Ms. Litvinyuk’s poem). Back in 2014, those ten words sparked a collective writing process in a group of civil rights activists, and the poetic result of their joined efforts was translated from English into all languages spoken within the group. Here, I’m reading the Swedish version – followed by a fresh translation into Belarusian by NSU participant Alina Kalachova, created for this occasion. Crucial contributions (although not visible on screen) were also made by Maru Mushtrieva.

The multilingual reading evening engaged about 35 attendants, and took place in the school’s chapel.

My second ‘ad hoc’ engagement was in Disa Kamula’s workshop on Co-writing the future, where my contribution was the real-time mapping of an unfolding utopian narrative… From the resulting vision of a bright future, I finally erased all details but three:
…people of all ages…
…essential work… (cleaning up, that is)
…future generations in focus…

Mapping ‘Visionary Tampere Region’ workshop; resulting World Map,
and workshop leader Disa Kamula collecting workshop material afterwards.

What did I gather from this week? Art is knowledge, and artistic research is here to stay. Democratic structures are essential, although never perfect. Disco dancing is fun – thanks, Ami Skånberg Dahlstedt!
And the map is never complete.

* The NSU multilingual poetry evening was organized by Lara Hoffman, PhD student at Háskólanum á Akureyri, Iceland; she is also the editor of Ós – The Journal, a magazine which features works of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and artworks in multiple languages.

** The 2014 Evening of Modern Ukrainian Poetry was organized by Yulia Oleksandriv and Julia Shevchenko, in collaboration with Stockholm International Library.

Turning point

art

Summer solstice – a turning point of the year. White nights, light becoming warmth; fledging nestlings soon ready to take flight; flowers opening and closing, before turning into the secluded process of fruition…

For myself – a turning point in my professional life. The exhibition venue is cleared and cleaned, keys returned; four weeks of exhibiting are completed. As visualized through the hexagrams from the Book of Changes, completion – a state of perfect order – will last only for a fleeting moment… to be followed by the transition to something yet unknown. Today, disorder and hope are my companions. Reconsidering will carry me on.



the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) / day 26

art, curating, recent work, time-out

The first guests arrive twenty minutes before opening time, and from then I just need to stay in the flow – people coming and going all through the day… some chatting, some resting, moments of welcome feedback, many Q’s and A’s, some proper curating by a trusted colleague, a trained eye scrutinizing framing solutions… until, in the afternoon, all artworks are removed from one wall, and those who stay a little longer pick up charcoal and markers to leave some traces on the open surface. Finissage!

the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) / day 25

art, curating, recent work, time-out

Once more, the spatial arrangements seem to have settled; a node. A steady stream of visitors – human and canine – resulting in a day with few photos, tiny adjustments only, suggestions not fully realized… but also, shared observations, reminiscences, recognitions… And, yes: a spontaneous performance by Mireia Rocher – creating friction, sound and warmth by drawing an invisible line around the walls with a slip of sandpaper. A powerful act of artistic courage and love; a conceptualization; a protective spell. Thank you Mireia! Thank you, all friendly souls from nearby and afar!

 

the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) / day 24

art, curating, recent work, time-out

A lingering note from yesterday – the green feeling…

The first guest enters, dripping with rain, and makes herself at home. We compare experiences of how to balance red, blue and yellow into a floating grayness; of how to reconcile, to integrate, to pan for gold in the stream of time. Holding, and beholding, a connection beyond words. Another visitor uplifts some works of mine, turning them into a sculptural arrangement. Yet another shares his delight and hardships in trying to depart from representation in his painting practice. Newcomer or professional artist, self-taught or highly educated – what we experience is real.

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the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) / day 23

art, curating, recent work, time-out

“Dare to be green!” A note left from one of yesterday’s evening guests greets me. Visitors come in small groups, we talk while moving things around; about the male gaze, and implications of setting frames and work titles – among other subjects. Meanwhile, I keep thinking about being green… What could it be?
A little later, Soundtower colleagues Karin, Katt and Julia arrive for a sounding session, with Margaretha and Åke joining in. A sonic meditation is followed by voice improvisations, lullabies and a love song, as Margaretha’s peony quietly blushes.


Then the large green canvas unfolds, just like spring bursts into full summer… Voices and violin take turns in responding. Daring, tapping into the green!

the Exhibition and Life (reconsidered) / day 22

art, curating, recent work, time-out

There’s no way this day could be summarized in a few sentences. Moments shared; fully lived, not recorded. A lengthy, intimate dialogue; an almost wordless collaboration; follow-up surprises around the corner; a shared meal; an open, gracious exchange on faith and art from pagan, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and non-confessional perspectives. What could I say, other than: Thank You – Innar, Em…

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…Per, Maria, Marcus, Vladan, Omol, Nina, Minas, Elisabeth and Bengt!