Strange thing this blogging – it seems to take a life of its own – i have an idea and the next thing it metamorphoses as i write. problem?? Nahh, i enjoy.
As a craftsman i get involved in all kinds of things – often its to do with shops of varying kinds of status – sometimes galleries and arts centres – right now its a new gallery at Bud.
Bud is on the corner of the coast before you turn inland towards Molde or carry on down the coast towards Ålesund.
Its views are most spectacular. The colours utterly amazing, they can vary from deep blue to a completely sandy coulered sky.
Bud is also a strange place in some ways – the houses are widespread and it feels a little empty when you get to know it a little. Allmost as if everybody is in hiding. But this is probably mistaken as i know it has a very buisy choir scene and many other fully fledged and active organisations and im sure is a very happy place for many.
As a maker i was invited to visit the New Ergan centre a few days ago – it was a very strange event in some ways.
I had been to meetings for over a year about this possibility – the talk was energising and strong about the amazing possibilities here – we were asked to deliver full reports on how we could spread our craft – how we could do small classes in our premises for children etc – i found myself contemplating contacting my old coullegues in the uk who do some amazing woodcraft and are prepared to travel – and writing scenarios. We felt there was a great deal of money involved and a sum of 200,000 nkr was mentioned to promote this new horizon.
Crafts are actually very important – they are about empowerment, about making something often out of things around us like trees, stones,plants and more. Ok the idea has been collectively used by failed artists for many years to sponsor activities such as clipping out pieces of paper to make montages and so forth which is really another home for the arts world, the real crafts world is far more useful – a succesful craftsman on the whole does not have enough time for this kind of thing, but every so often it is a good idea to listen as there are real possibilities.
So finally after some 15 months we were told the centre was going to open. We were not invited. So we stirred a bit.
I went to visit the centre and found it was very chaotic – i said who i was and also mentioned that we were a bit upset. This to the manageress.
I had a quick glimpse of the area we supposedly were to be given and was not in the least impressed – for a start one would have to pay to see our work and secondly the restaurant was behind the door to the exhibition so presumably one would have to pay to have a cup of tea.
So i was very suprrised that at very short notice we were all invoted to a opening and some food – free food is always interesting.
So we had the usual speech about how important this was going to be – then we had a look.
Strangely enough the first exhibit had a flying pig – literally a pig hanging from the cieling in a display case – my, i thought – this is significant.
The other displays involved tiny models showing the sea bottom and various objects littered around on these models that had been found there. There were interactive torches that supposedly linked information on a screen to the objects and some information.
It was a very empty experience – as if it had been put together for very young people (under the age of 10), all surplous information removed as they are not capable of handling too much.
The panoramic window looking out over the skerries and islands is extremly impresive. perhaps some 100 foot plus of view, in fact id go so far as to say superb. You can even sit over a cup of coffee whilst you contemplate this.
After our little view we were shuffled to the cinema – very plush and comfortable – to see a film on a huge sea avalanche that had occured there 8,000 years ago. The essential information should have taken about 5 minutes but it stretched out to some 40 minutes – i found myself fast asleep – it was very booring. Endless views of drill cores and talking heads, and how clever the people in the oil industry are.
After this we were taken to the Ergan fortress. Ive never been as i felt that to pay for what could be rather empty experience was not really my cup of tea – i was right.
The manageress gave us a talk. The walls are covered with information charts – i felt that while it gave information it was lacking in spirit, as if the people writing it were not really interested and just doing a job. For istance it mentioned the Blucher battleship, but nothing of the extraordinary feats of the man who ultimately sunk her, of her last trip up the oslo fjord aflame from end to end – that is surely something worth mentioning – but no.
The manageress talk was quite good, we felt real passion about a russian soldier who had been executed and buried, Afterwards i tried to tell her about another soldier who had been saved but she was not interested and almost rude – i did not either tell her about my father and his capture and escape – she surely would not have been interested.
So im afraid to say the entire event left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth – in fact the whole event is perfectly symbolised by the flying pig.
I gather that the powers that be, are a bit concerned about the amount of money involved and so little interest. i am not surprised. Unfortunatly i also feel that they have suddenly realised that our little group could provide some interesting things for boored and unstimulated tourists – do we want to be used in this way? is it going to be 2 way or just theirs?
I have been involved with several shops here – i am a little surprised at how mercenary they are when it comes to money. One still owes me some 3,000 krone, but i have decided to walk away. To them the money is insignificant – and presumably so is my work – i dont want to contemplate that any more.