The holidays are over and I´m back on the job, back to the old routines (more or less). Which is perfectly fine, one can only stand so much leisure (or so I´m telling myself). We have had the most perfect trip, the most perfect weather (a bit varied, but mostly comfortably dry and cloudy), the most interesting excursions, and some very stimulating and jolly company. I feel like I have been completely reset, which is what the holidays are for.
Last weekend, I participated in the yearly outdoor art exhibition here in Luleå, organized by Luleå Konstförening (= art society). It´s a great event, very relaxed, with a great mix of professionals and amateurs at every level. I participated two summers about a decade ago, when I was very much into making collages. This year, having bought myself a fancier camera and pushing myself to take more interesting photographs, it made total sense to exhibit again. I mean, what´s the point doing it if no one can see it? And you learn so much from people´s reactions and opinions. The short film above and the photo below are the husband´s.
Mum-in-law, who has a new doctor with new insights into her condition, has bounced back gloriously, and spent all Saturday afternoon with me. She loved it, after mostly being confined to her flat for so long! (That´s her on the left in the photo, in white, sitting elegantly on her walker next to me.)
A selection of comments from the crowds:
"I see, it´s a mixture of art and photography!" (Englishman, about the exhibition as a whole)
"That´s not art, that´s just pictures!" (8ish-year-old boy)
"Those reeds remind me of childhood."
"That picture makes me calm."
"Photography is really coming, isn´t it?"
"Look at the reflections, it ripples up here and is still down here."
"Is that lighthouse big or small?" (7ish-year-old girl)
"Oh look, you could have exhibited!" (several supportive girlfriends/wives to their heavily equipped boyfriends/husbands, all mumbling in response)
"Are those photos?"
"I know that graffiti! Isn´t graffiti great? I love it!" (white-bearded, ex-accountant-looking pensioner)
"I recognize that place!"
"Where is that building?" (many, many men) (it´s London)
"Look at the climbers!"
"Just imagine cleaning all those windows!" (exclusively, and many, women)
"Look, it looks like that boy is running in gold sand!" (elderly man to his wife)
"Oh, you took them yourself? How clever of you." (older woman with walker & southern accent)
"Look at the cute baby."
"Look! A lamp in the sea!" (7ish-year-old girl trying to stop her baby brother - a most enthusiastic art lover - from hugging the frame and drooling all over it)
"Lovely colours. Lovely light."
"How sharp they are. How do you get them so sharp?"
"Why are those windows bricked up?"
"Are those people outcasts?"
"Photography is the new watercolour, they say."
"Are those wet-works? They are so life-like!"
"They are photographs."
"Oh. [pause] Well, very skillful of you to make them so life-like. Very clever."
It surprised me how many were surprised to see photos exhibited and who didn´t really think that photography could be art. There were four of us with photos on display, but I was the only one exclusively showing photos. I am already looking forward to next year!