Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's all happening

Something pretty remarkable happened a few weeks ago, something of which I was sworn to secrecy until yesterday. I was on my way home from work on a Friday night, and my phone rang. I'm really into answering my phone with 'Hello, Minna speaking' if I don't know who's calling, because it makes me sound like a business guy. So I answered with that and I was met on the other end with the head curator at Gertrude Contemporary. I knew that line would be appropriate someday. As we went through some introductory banter I was truly drawing blanks in my head as to why she would be calling me. I had applied for a studio residency at Gertrude a few months ago, so I could get an early start on applying so I get one like, 10 years into my career, and I throughly thought she was ringing to say thanks but no thanks, apply again next year. In some weird twist of fate or luck or whatever, she actually proceeded to say that I was accepted as a 2014-2016 studio artist there. I was beyond speechless which means I actually have a lot of speech, and was bubbling and thanking and oh my god-ing over and over. It was the most unexpected thing in my whole life.

I immediately rung my Mum and then my Dad, rushing to explain what a big deal this whole thing was and getting choked up and not making sense. It was a brilliant feeling of excitement and elation.

Yesterday was the official announcement of the studio artists so I was free to tell people (people other than my Mum and Dad). It was like that same feeling of elation and excitement all over again, being able to share it with my friends and people that are important to me. Last night the announcement coincided with the current Gertrude Studio artist's exhibition opening, so Louis and I went along. Some of the studio spaces were open for exhibiting and we walked through. They're huge, light drenched, luxurious, and I was absolutely struck with the reality that I am going to have one of these spaces, for two years, and it is going to be brilliant.

I'm still getting my head around the whole thing to be honest. This truly means that I am a "real artist" not just in my mind, but in the minds of other people. I definitely struggle with feeling confident that my work is valued in a critical/intellectual environment. This appointment as a Gertrude Studio artist has taught me that even though my practice is not laden with intense theory and book smarts, an emotionally based practice is just as valuable and stands equal on the same plain. I write a lot here about wanting to be an artist who can make commercial work and also make 'fine art' work, and for them to be considered as separate things. I think that I will be able to walk that line in my career and I don't think there's anything wrong with that or it makes me any less of a 'fine artist'.

Gertrude staggers the times that new people move into the studios throughout the year. I was offered move in dates of June 2014 or December 2014. After thinking on it for a few days, I decided to take the later move-in date, December 2014. So, I will be moving in to Gertrude this time next year, and I'm happy to have a bit more time in my current studio with my friends until then. I'm in no rush, despite being super excited to start my residency at Gertrude. I have a whole year to look forward to it, and when I finally get there I will make the absolute most of it!

Phew. Anyway so that's my news for the moment. Here are some pictures from the past week:

Playing with rainbow gradients in my scanner
Louis has these amazing Tarot cards called Hexen 2.0, by Suzanne Treister. 
Working on my Elvis series 
Too many Nanna blankets at Savers!
A cool poison apple phone that I ended up leaving, and some daisy fabric.
I got an amazing new Romance was Born skirt! And this sticker from their A/W14 collection, can't wait!
Junky stuff at Savers 
"Odd pets"
Bought this cool flower power chain belt
Aaaand the pièce de résistance these original ABBA earrings. Couldn't resist!
Thanks for reading :)


  1. eeh congrats! :) i just love the Nanna blankets (i can't find them anywhere here!!)

  2. Minna! That is really fantastic news! You should feel very proud of yourself. I like how open you are about having parallel practices. I'm trying to do the same, and I think there's a real freedom in it, especially in the sense that the more commercial work can support the fine art/experimental practice in a financial sense as well.

  3. So happy for you! It's wonderful that your art is getting recognized in such a big way :)

  4. Did you check out the R/W 2014 preview at Alice Euphemia? If it wasn't so expensive I'd buy it all...
    visually inspiring material as usual Minna <3