My wife’s work takes us over the world. As an artist, there are big upsides as well as downsides to it. The upside is the adventure, the opportunity to get an intimate, and extended look at another country, another culture, another identity and other stories. It is a great source of inspiration.
The downside is the breaking up of networks every time we move. Since the artworld is made out of networks, this is a significant downside. I have to find out where the art world is in every new place, find out where the established art world is, where the underground, up-and-coming, alternative art world resides, and find myself a working space that is affordable. An effort that takes time and resilience.
In Ottawa, there is the Enriched Bread Artists, an artists’ collective housed in an old bread factory. I applied for a studio there and to my delight, was accepted to their waiting list. Unfortunately, there are still people on the waiting list before me and it is unclear how long it will take for a studio in the building to become free. Also, the EBA building is facing the danger that many artist’s collectives and studiospaces have already faced, fought and lost: Urban development. It has announced not too long ago that a development project is in the works for the area that the Enriched Bread Artists are in. Talks are now ongoing on how to maintain or otherwise incorporate the creative spaces in the new plans.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.
So for me, the search for a studio is still on. Until that time, only my sketchbook is my workspace, the snow, wind, river and forests that permeate Ottawa my new world.
And to think that Europe is full in the throes of spring already!