Monday, 10 September 2012

Scotland Here I Come!!!

Well, I've been having a lot of fun in Scandinavia, but I sure can't wait to get back to the Scottish soil, damp and squelchy as it may be. As I write, the Stockholm sky is gloomy and foreboding so no love lost there. Still though, I always look forward to a trip with much trepidation - I've already started having my 'late for the flight' nightmares like when I'm in the wrong country as my flight is leaving somewhere else. The latest one was I was with my sister and I hadn't printed my ticket but I realised I was leaving 4 weeks later anyways, plus she was flying somewhere different, and then there was a murderer searching for us in the airport and I had to find her and save her, etc etc... Y'know how it goes.

I guess it's just feeling like one is split between two countries - I have my art studio and partner here, in a lovely country where I feel like an immigrant (only through my rubbish grasp of Swedish and their epically brilliant grasp of English - it's a humility lesson rather than a difficulty).  And then there's 'Home' - the place where I left lots of friends behind, family and beloved pets, familiar places, a better wage, my 'notoriety'...I have to say though, now my times back in Scotland are always jam-packed and super efficient in terms of work and quality time with friends.  I really am looking forward to probably the most exciting 4 weeks all packed together ever!!! (Settle down Jen).

Seriously though, my first week which starts on the 17th, will be mostly spent with Solar Bear where I will be using my iPad to draw participants creating their own theatre. What is particularly wonderful about this first project is the participants are sufferers from mental health issues and have a hard time just being outside in the general public spaces. I was fortunate enough to draw them last year - on paper, and they all seemed to get a kick out of my drawings which was nice.  I've got a video of them all pointing and laughing - WITH me right? Not at me??!!  Anyway, this year I'll be drawing on iPad, the results of which will be included in the final performance during the Scottish Mental Health Film and Music Festival along with all the other artwork that's being created by the participants and in partnership with Impact Arts.  A truly Multi-media event, but that's generally what I'm all about right? Right.

I must also mention that on Friday the 21st of September I will be drawing at the fantastic multi-indie-arts night 'Neu Reekie!' which for the first time ever will be heading over to Glasgow and gracing the new arts venue designed and founded by none other than Scotland's own Jim Lambie together with Mutley of SWG3.  This should be a very good night indeed!

Monica de Ioanni, Jer Reid and Jenny Soep 'Three Lines'. Photo (c) Greg Neate 2012
Monica de Ioanni, Jer Reid and Jenny Soep 'Three Lines'. Photo (c) Greg Neate 2012

My next project will be a combination of a week's residency at Tramway in the Workroom, with Jer Reid and Monica de Ioanni as a further development of our work with Jer's initial Wintercycle duet project, that turned into our combined efforts in 'Three Lines'.  The previous two performances we gave as part of Sound/Thought at the Arches back in February and as part of the Multi-media arts night 'Media Lab' in Edinburgh were both very different but equally beautiful experiences.

Our latest performance will be in the Glue Factory on Sunday the 30th September. We will have a Facebook page for it, and I'll put some info on here too. Meanwhile, just above are a couple of beautiful pictures that Greg Neate took just to give you a taster. Incidentally he's got an exhibition on at the moment at the 13th Note, King Street Glasgow on a lot of the great and the good in music. I found him via a mutual love of Arab Strap, and I've come to find that he really is gifted, painterly and acerbic in his capturings of music and the people that make/listen/inspire it.

The third week, I'll be up near Oban giving a talk at Oban High School and later the Oban Art Society, but above all I'm looking forward to catching up with my parents and their amazing dog MacDuff.  I'll also be sorting a load of pictures for import.

Autumn Time at Roineabhal, RIP Conan the cat who's not around this year.

Heading up to Roineabhal is always a joy, it's the most beautiful place on earth as far as I'm concerned, and my Mum has a special nack for interior and exterior decoration/gardening, as well as being a world famous chef - no jokes - albeit for winning the Golden Spurtle at the World Porridge Championships, she's pretty fantastic at everything else she cooks. I've lived a very spoiled existence. (I also get fatter everytime I visit.)

Then it's my final week working with the marvellous playwright Lynda Radley on our third phase of the 360 Narratives projected funded by Playwrights' Studio and Creative Scotland.  We're writing a graphic novel together about Midwives, and for this third phase, we're going to have a couple of days of fun that are going to experiment with my 'live drawing' style. Then I'll have the rest of the week for development.  This will also be contributing to a flying visit to the Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds later in November.

But that will be enough from me for now.  Here's an old drawing of a bike as I'm hoping to get some bike action while I'm back in Scotland - including the Harris Tweed Ride!!!
(This drawing is of a particular bike of mine that was nicked in Cornwall - after the drawing was made of course. You do know 99.99% of my drawings are done from life right?  See you soon!)

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