Zombielike I made it to the London’s not-so-Londony Stansted Airport this morning just in time to grab a cup of tea and dash to my flight. It was my second attempt to leave for Augsburg this week, having been horribly misled by my tired brain into thinking I was leaving on Saturday (resulting in three people, me being one of them, getting up at 4.30am twice in a row but going back to bed after a hasty check on flights the first time).
“Welcome to Bavaria!” beamed the cab driver at the airport, brandishing a card with my name on it as if I were actually someone important, “You could have brought the nice weather with you!”. And so with an apology for not being the sunshine-toting tourist he was expecting we drove into from Munich Airport to my destination, squid safely packed in the boot.
Two 4.30am mornings have left my brain slightly mushy and totally unprepared for the arty madness I was about to stumble into. But stumble I did and here I am typing away in the apartment kitchen of the three-bedroomed artist’s flat smack bang in the middle of the city of Augsburg. Blimey O’Reilly.
So here’s a quick photo tour of my first six hours as an ‘artist in residence’.
I was met fresh from the cab by Ben who was carrying a skateboard and a hangover from last night’s farewell festivities. I suspected people were going to be sleepy. I was right. First stop was our artist’s apartment where I met three very hungover artists who blearily greeted me through mouths full of toothbrushes and dehydration. Heh.
Next stop is the White Room where we will be working on our ‘White Papers’ all week. It sits on a busy street where passers by can peer in and wonder what on earth we think we’re up to. Or we can peer out and wonder what on earth we think we’re up to too.
Scattered about its innards were bits and bobs from the three artists leaving today. It felt a little like walking into someone else’s house. If they lived in a giant fish tank…
Next stop, breakfast!
Three artists are leaving today and three are filling the gaps they leave. I barely got to know them but they all seemed utterly fabulous, confident and awe-inspiring. Here’s a little glimpse of the leavers.
Ramón Esono Ebalé
Ramón is from Equatorial Guinea and is “a self-taught drawer and graffic artist and has already released several comics”. When I met him he was singing a love song to the waitress as far as I could tell.
Sara smiled out from a post-birthday haze and was ever so sorry to be leaving. I wish I could read Swedish because her book looks as awesome as the short time I spent with her lead me to believe she was. It’s so very shiny too.
Takahiro disappeared into a haze of spray paint almost as soon as I met him. He did bigger and more impressive graffiti in ten minutes than I can possibly do in a week. Curse my needle-and-yarn limitations!
The square opposite the White Room has clingfilm-like banner stretched between the trees. Street canvases for spray cans to be let loose on while the City of Peace (cultural programme taking over the city while the Women’s World Cup is on) takes place.
I met Mister-Sed and someone whose name I (as usual) didn’t catch doing what graffiti artists do best.
I’m feeling like a very small graffiti fish in a very large graffiti pond at the moment but I’m sure I’ll learn lots.
This is my new favourite and I’ve seen them everywhere. I reckon I might have to do a yarny tribute. Me-ow.
Wish me luck! I may need it. Then again I may just run wild with yarn and see what happens. We shall see.