Ah, what a perfect title alluding to my ‘captivity’ here in Stockholm which I love, adore and want more of.
It has indeed been a love/hate relationship, but one which I love more and more of. For me, 2014 is about collaboration, projected live drawing/dynamic scenography, and drawing more women/people of different colours. I just realised there are too many ‘white’ men in my drawings and I feel I need to start diversifying. I also want to spend a longer time with musicians, draw a tour, see what a consistent flow of concerts can produce with my drawings. Draw creators creating in their creative space/studios.
It’s not that I need a complete ‘change’ as such – I’m just pursuing those tangents that perpetually visit my mind only to race off again.
Since my solo show last November, which was a culmination of nearly a year’s residency at the marvellous Södra Teatern – also co-inciding with a full day of drawing for the highly prestigious SKAP/STIM conference perfectly entitled ‘The Digital Agenda For Music’ where the final performance of the afternoon was the very exciting Turbo Tuba/Radio Pop duo Invader Ace with a live projected drawing by me behind them. The private view of my solo show was a couple of hours straight afterwards featuring Invader Ace again and a whole set worth of music and live drawings, gratefully sponsored by Södra Teatern themselves along with Scottish Brewdog Beer from Cask Sweden.
I’ve mostly been working on iPad since then, but always double back to paper drawing and painting. I’ve been commissioned to create a live projected drawing of local politicians during their debate on culture at the impressive ‘Government Library’ (Riksdagsbiblioteket) on Stockholm’s ‘Culture Night’ (KulturNatt) as well as participated in a ‘Tecknade Toner’ (Drawn Notes) for the film/music and comics library at Kulturhuset, in collaboration with the improvisation music group ‘Klubb Spontan’.
I was extremely proud in March to be invited to give a presentation at the Falmouth University/MA Illustration Department’s Forum ‘Witness: Reportage & Documentary Illustration’ along with luminaries Sue Coe, Lucinda Rogers, Anne Howeson, Anna Cattermole and Fumio Obata, chaired by the Reportager magazine founder ‘Gary Embury’ himself.
I’ve also been working on a Creative Scotland and Playwrights’ Studio Scotland funded project with the playwright Lynda Radley, where we’ve been discovering how to make a graphic novel. I will hands down admit it’s been the most terrifying, inspiring and biggest learning ‘creative’ experience I’ve ever had, and I look forward to the future possibilities with it. More on that later :)
This year in August will see me again – for the fifth year – drawing for the Polar Music Prize and their laureates ‘King of RockNRoll’ Chuck Berry and the massively innovative/societally engaged music director Peter Sellars, a duo which I find incredibly fun, inspiring and exciting. I’ve already been drawing at the official announcement last week at the impressive City Halls (location of the Nobel Prize) along with the first Polar Talks of the year with Sweden’s answer to Chuck Berry – Jerry Williams – along with the always vibrant Kronos Quartet, and chaired by Alfons Karabuda – a man connected to all the best sides of music and it’s artists.
Did I also mention my drawings were used on a very exclusive limited edition set of whisky bottles celebrating the braw, brash and brilliant poetry/animation/music event Neu Reekie!? (Hugely proud :)
(Photo – Neu Reekie!) I can’t list everything I’ve been up to, but Sunday also saw me drawing one of – if not the first – female graffiti artists (Crossie) to ‘tag’ the amazing arts/circus/film&music site of Subtopia – a hub and haven for creativity, with welcoming arms for street artists in a city of ‘zero tolerance’.
(Photo by Crossie)
I’ve also been learning Swedish throughout, and perhaps one day this blog will be bi-lingual (albeit my crappy Swedish with a rendition in English :). I’ve also been keeping a daily illustrated diary called ‘100 Happy Days’ which incidentally has been so invigorating and liked by many that I’m extending it to an entire year. I’m currently on Day 118. It is currently on my ‘private’ Facebook page, but contemplating posting it either here or on Tumblr, and definitely making a book, whether just digitally or also printed.
In two weeks, I go to Scotland for a month and a half. This will include various art jobs, at least two, if not 3 friend’s weddings – one of which I’m a bridesmaid! – as well as walking the West Highland Way with my ever-patient and amazingly supportive partner Mattias. It’s a bit of a side-step to my mission of consistency in Sweden, but I certainly know how to make the best of my time back in my home country, and look forward to various creative enterprises, some best friend and family quality time, SCOTTISH time, and partner time. I’m also looking forward to the tick-tick-ticking of current projects in Sweden developing/continuing/being put into operation and ESPECIALLY to see the vote for Scotland’s independence be debated, learned about and shared for the better.
Who knows where this year will end up!