About a year after our first visit to Göteborg and to our favourite persian family, we were back again, and again for just one weekend.
Persians host people like the portuguese do: welcoming booze, loads of food and that warm familiar feeling of organized chaos.
Our persian/swedish/portuguese guide and friend took us to an iranian pastry shop, but it had little to do with Iran these days, except maybe for the staff. It was gleaming with those rich coloured pastry that Sweden has gotten us used to. Lots of berries, lots of sugar, lots of cream, yumminess in a slice.
Gothemburgians, like most swedes, lie under the sun as much as they possibly can. Here, they do it in the sloped shores of the canal, in a park where the city walls once stood, with warm coffee, food and drinks.
The sunny sunday took us to the house of a couple in the family in Lerums Kommun. Alsjö lake lies just by it. There, the neighbourhood is organized around the lake instead of a network of roads. The neighbours must agree on any construction or action that might compromise the neatness and the health of the lake. It’s the commons, an old kind of appropriation that still has a lot of significance around these parts. After a delicious bolognese we were on our way back to the south.
A surprise knocked upon our door: a comic book festival was happening in Stadsbiblioteket in the first weekend of our exhibition. So, just a few meters away from where we’re sketching and showing up our stuff – and in the same building – conferences about comic books were being held, a fanzine market was bustling with activity, battles between comic authors were raging! Such a happy coincidence!
The fanzine market was female-dominated. I guess the comic book guy archetype is quickly fading out. There was also a lot of manga-inspired comics, and quite a lot of comic porn! One group in particular drew my attention: Think Ink – a band of five girls who get together to make comic books. I bought one of their fanzines called The Art of Fika, a compilation of stories that revolve around fika – the legendary swedish habit of sitting down with, friends, coffee or tea and stuffing your face with yummy pastry. It seemed such a cool concept to draw stories around such a simple theme. And the artwork is pretty amazing!
On saturday a battle took place between four comic book authors. Energized by music, the artists would do a sketch based on a theme chosen by the audience. The themes that the authors had to negotiate with – fantasy, fishing and (my favourite) alcohol and dystopia – were fertile ground for the artists to harvest some pretty cool drawings in the five minutes they had. The fun bit was that they could also interfere with each other drawings.
On sunday, Holger – who is a skilled networker – had some conversations with the fanzine girls. He even got his manga portrait done in a sketching duel with one of them. Watching over was another girl, a shy teenager, with an impressive talent, who confessed her dreams of becoming an illustrator.
There is a lot of chores and planning in putting together an exhibition, even such a small one as this one. So, with all the improvising and all the late-coming ideas, this has been more of a active laboratory than a passive exhibition for Holger and me.
We decided to commit to a few days where we would be present at the exhibition. This would give us a chance to talk to people, witness their interest, even probe for candidates for future sketching partners. Since the exhibition is behaving like an analog blog – new sketches and paintings keep appearing day after day – we decided to call these dates “artist online” dates.
Martas Café is located in Lund’s city public library. Going there almost every day, I realized that it is the office of a lot of people. Faces begin to look familiar. Tastes too – all the delicious pastry is baked here by Marta. And it’s finger lickin’ good!
A sunny mid-March weekend had me flying from Copenhagen to Lisbon to Faro and back in little over 40 hours. The effort was worthwhile because I was going for the wedding of one of the dearest persons in the world to me – my little sister.
It was a true designer’s wedding: simple & sleek, with a touch of fun and a tad of emotion. But it took a whole lot of jet fuel to make it happen: people from all over Europe travelled to the tip of the continent to attend. It has to mean something that a couple can have such magnetism over so many square mileage.
Proud moms and pops were too busy going around to be caught on ink. There was just too much going on. Of course, it always felt there was more to be done in the few hours there than to sketch, although the temptation to record the fleeting celebration was always hovering around me.
Wouldn’t have missed it for the world, sis!
My friend Holger Wendt and I just finished setting up an interactive exhibition at Martas Café, in Stadsbiblioteket in Lund.
The exhibition shows some of our work as daily sketchers. It features some original works in watercolor and ink, as well as copies of our sketchbooks.
The exhibition is set up as an analogue blog. Some of the paintings and sketches will be added and some will be removed as time goes by. Visitors will be able to comment on the works by writing or drawing their comment on post-its available on site and sticking it to the picture they want to comment on.
In some days, to be announced, Holger and/or I will be present (we’ll be online!) and talk to people, answer questions, sketch portraits, making sketch-duels with the visitors or leading informal workshops under the themes “Storytelling by sketching“, “Sketching on the road“, “Zen drawing” and “Portraits“.
The results of the workshops may be posted on a wall reserved for the visitors’ sketches.
All are welcome and be sure to comment and participate! Pictures to come soon!
A warm thank you to Eduarda Loureiro for the design of the poster!