Monday, 6 July 2009

Home and Dry

It is good to be back and getting wall to wall TV coverage of Glastonbury and Wimbledon was a bonus. The UK weather has been disappointingly glorious since our return but there have been a few showers and storms and all sorts of clouds. It's that constant variation in the sky and the atmosphere that I missed most in the UAE so I am really enjoying it. Our house is fine and just in need of a bit of paint and TLC but the garden was so overgrown it was like a small field. I actually felt a bit guilty getting out there with the shears and wantonly destroying several reclaimed insect habitats but there can be no territorial compromise with flying ants. The long running soap opera that is my family continues and I almost couldn't take the omnibus edition that greeted me on arrival. However, I live far enough away not to have to deal with it on a daily basis so equanimity can be retained!

What is best, however, is the 5th E17 Art Trail. In the first one in 2005 there were about 40 artists but this year there are an amazing 180 different individuals, groups or projects proving that cultural and arts development has not only been happening in the UAE. The last Art Trail I did in 2006 was an installation in a local museum garden and they have agreed to let do a completely different installation in their garden again. This alone would have been a neat transition back to my pre-UAE life but it gets better..... the E17 Art Trail this year has manged to get 3 Arts Council of England Commissions - 2 for new art work and one for an art blog which covers and records the work in this year's Trail. Guess who got the commission for the blog?? OH YES :)

I was worried that it would be difficult to plug my UAE experience back into the UK but within a few weeks of being back I am in a very nice place. As well as being happy with both the conceptual and material aspects of my planned installation, I am also able to get completely immersed in the locality again by using the blogging and writing skills I would not have had without the UAE experience.

It also means I win a bet with spouse about who would be the first to earn some money back in the UK....