Saturday, 5 September 2009

Ends and beginnings


Dissected Sweaters
Originally uploaded by MadeleineS.

It's been a while since I wrote anything for the blog. The supreme effort of mounting an exhibition and getting the studio ready for the open weekend so soon after the operation really took its toll. I more or less flopped after the 9th of August and the Edinburgh Festivals have mainly passed us by this year. Mike has been writing about the things we managed to get along to at Semaphore for Ducks if you're interested. Recovery is proceeding fairly well, with a few set backs as I get used to Edinburgh's different schools of bus driving again! I also fell out of bed this morning so I'm being a bit tentative about moving around right now. Balancing exercise and and rest is really difficult. I always think I can do more than I really can then come crashing down later. However, if I have a good week next week and get the all clear from the University GP, I'll be back at "the day job" during the following one.

Open Studios was a qualified success. Lots of interest in my work, more than the previous event but sales were well down and the medical necessity of (saloon car) taxis to and from Coburg House pretty much wiped it out what I did take. I spent three pleasant days with my fellow artists, potential customers and family and friends so it was far from a waste of time and a purposeful distraction from languishing in my orthopedic chair.

Alba ad Astra is now over as well and seems to have been well received, according to Mike's observations of visitors. There were people who just didn't "get it", though some might have if they'd given it a bit more time and thought. The majority spent time looking at the photographs, reading Andrew J Wilson's research notes, the "archive copies" of Rocketry Scotland and other documents and giggling to themselves. Some of them bought the booklet and have even told me on Facebook they really enjoyed it!

We put a lot of effort into publicising the show to the press but apart from listings it's been largely overlooked. The Scotsman mentioned Alba ad Astra at the end of The Bookworm column and it was unexpectedly listed in the UNESCO City of Literature website but there were no reviews, good or bad, anywhere. I guess the visual arts people we sent press releases to felt the project wasn't visual enough for them to take an interest. If you didn't make it along you can see all the photographs and research notes on my website, where you can also buy a copy of the booklet if you want to know more. There are also copies in stock at Transreal Fiction if you're in Edinburgh and don't need mail order.

Other bits of life have all been rattling around in various distracting ways. My father's 80th birthday fast approaches and his health continues to deteriorate. My brother's home was under threat again from the wildfires in Athens. Thankfully the danger was not as great this time as the last. My other brother and family, in Oxford, seem to be keeping out of trouble but maybe they're just keeping their heads down! My cousin has had a very successful exhibition in Glasgow and gave a talk at the West Port Book Festival on her research into learned animals on stage. Gavin Inglis, one of my Alba ad Astra colleagues organised and participated in Underword, 22 nights of spoken word events. We got along to one of them - had I been fitter we might well have managed more as other members of the Alba ad Astra team were performing their work on other nights.

As the dust settles on all of the above, my head is spinning with the next steps for Alba ad Astra and several new art projects (of which the dissected sweaters at the top of this post are part), getting back to "the day job" and wondering just how bad the timing of the next hip operation will be...

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