GG is set up so that various artist come in from all different countries, staying in an old manor house, and working together in the studios, which at one time were the horse stables. We presently have 7 artists and assistants from Finland, Denmark, Canada, and the US, with a number of other folks wondering in for a day or two. The assistants spend part of the day firing kilns and what not, but work on their own projects too. We’re all working on our own work, but since we’re in a communal space, it’s a great set up for exchanging ideas and theory. The work of the other artists range from functional ware, to figurative sculpture, to wonderfully abstract glass pieces. The glass artist is here in order to figure out how to incorporate ceramic material into her pieces.
While everyone put forward proposals about what they’d be working on while they’re here, the set up is so inspiring and filled with new ideas that they may end up working in the entirely opposite direction. My proposal was to build a giant swarm of flying creatures as an installation. While I have quite a few additional ideas I think I’m going to explore, I’m going to keep going on the flying beasts as well at the same time.
Guldagergaard itself is very cool, as well. In addition to wonderful assortment of kilns and supplies, it also has extensive library of ceramic related reading material. And that’s not even mentioning its actually collection of ceramics, both in its gallery and in the house! I’ve been making sure to use a different mug every day, but I still need to go spend some time staring at the amazing work in the gallery. It’s tough to avoid feeling intimidated by the sheer amount of incredible work around.
It’s also located in the middle of a public sculpture park, with random members of the public wondering by on their bikes, and occasionally sticking their heads into the studio. My favorite part of the sculpture park is a giant earthwork spiral mound. By walking around it, you eventually reach the flattened top with a view of windmills, housing developments, and fields. When I walked to the top today, I walked right by a hare, hunkered flat, trying incredibly hard to convince me of its own invisibility.
My average day seems to be chunks of two to three hours in the studio, interspersed with exploring, eating, and talking with the other artists. I have access to a bike, and often take off in a random direction with a thermos of tea and my sketch book. The movement and the sight seeing helps me think. I’m generally in the studio until after 11 at night, which is actually a fun change for me – reminds me of my college days.
So that about sums up my observations on the place so far. It’s just a really great place to be and to be making art. I’ve uploaded some of the pictures I’ve taken so far to flickr!