This is a story about believing in yourself. And about working hard. It does sound standard, and it actually is. Making things doesn’t make me confident. People telling me it is okay what I do, doesn’t make me confident. Neither do compliments, they never worked for me.
I often don’t actually believe I can achieve something. I sometimes say so, but don’t feel it. It sometimes happens, but I don’t cherish the moment. Not proud, just unhappy.
For this project, I needed that good old kick-in-the-ass, of a friend. Stop yelling, bragging, stop the empty words. Do. It was 2 days before the entry deadline. It was stressful, no excuses, to time to write stories filled with words of which I thought others wanted to hear…
It had to be naked, just what I am, and just where I was at that moment. I could only try to enter the festival with work that was actually there.
Then I got accepted. Shit.
Really, actually showing work to people I don’t know? How frightening.
But then it happened. It was okay. I could only do my best. Accept where I was, what was finished. I had to accept myself (and my feet, but that comes later :p). Aha, so that was this about! That was why I moved to Berlin, to give myself space and time, to see this.
The road-to was actually very natural. The festival I am referring to was the annual 48 Stunden Neukolln festival. A good start to do things without precedent, to start with. The theme ‘SATT’ (satisfied / too much) fitted me at that moment, with my candy themed indulging works. I found one location, myself, after one suggestion by someone I did not know. The location fitted, I wanted a living room setting from the beginning. Lovely Daniela of Pipi Royal welcomed me without any doubt. The colors, the appetite, fitted the shop.
So it went.
Only show what you want to show, only what is, in your own eyes, good. Your own vision on this is often troubled. Troubled by doubts, what people will come? Is it enough? Will it look good? But to whom? All doubts are caused by worries about external causes, unrealistic expectations, never-to-happen scenarios, which you can not control anyway. Just don’t. One can not predict the future.
My ideas are always ready to go. Complete. Rigid. I make a sketch. I build. Of course things evolve during the making process, but I can always return to the idea in my head, and keep these changes within boundaries. People suggest, other options are maybe more logical, but I have to make what it is projected inside, by my fantasy, or sometimes by a dream.
Make. Make. Make.
The idea is easy. These pop up, with our without help. Sketching is easy. It is fast, often self-explaining. But than all the work still has to be done, and that’s what people often forget: you have to spend hours, more hours, weeks, months. You have to work at night, during weekends, on Saturday-evening, when many go out, drink a beer. But if you feel more like finishing your work, you have to do that.
Work more. Also when you are sad, when you feel unconfident, when you are hyper, when you ought to sleep, when you should eat. Work. Make.
The basis for this exhibition are three sculptures. Making them was a bumpy road, full of stupid decisions. I even tried to speed up drying the clay/glue with a hair dryer, what completely melted away the sweets. The head with the gummi bears was made twice. Extra heads where ordered from Holland. Three types of glue and lacquer were tested. The black sculpture was originally green, with a soft grasslike texture. It was smelly, I had to puke from the terrible sweet smell of melting gummi bears in a little pan. I wanted the big drip on the tongue of one of the sculptures to be potentially ‘eatable’ too…
The scent of sweets, glue, lacquer, spray paint, clay and a glue, all together, is terrible. All in a room of 5×5 meters, where I also slept, two months in a row. It is not easy to sleep in a room that smells so chemically. But I survived.
Of course, all was finished just the night before the festival started.
And it started well. My images are sexy, easy to like, so they were published in Zitty, featured in the festival guide. 🙂
The festival itself went by fluently. No stress, no sleep either. Just enjoy and happy. I made myself a candy carpet, I always need something to do. Some interviews, some questions. This means, the rest of the story is just enjoyment, best shown in colorful pixels, in images. Enjoy, like I did.
And the future? Will I make more? Sure, will there be a new exhibition? No clue, not a goal, but maybe something I can enjoy again. Thanks for reading.
And a big thanks to AMK, Kirsten the candy manager, Daniele, my family, and the many guest of Pipi Royal and of course the organization of the 48hnk art festival.
And if you want to see more of the actual pieces I made, check the links: