Often in life its the little things in life that get remembered, and today is no exception…
Saying that I will remember the ‘big thing’ today, the formal reception meeting with Natalia Sokolova, Deputy Head of the City of Pskov, it was indeed an honour to represent Perth on this occasion. Following the exchange of gratitude regarding the collaboration leading up to the exhibition the meeting was dominated with discussions about the Ukraine situation. Clearly there is deep concern over here especially on a day of significant activity between Russia, Europe and the US, its an eye opener hearing first hand the views of the Russian people. The people and administration of Pskov are as keen as ever to develop cultural relations between our twin cities.
..and the little thing ? actually not so little but a chance opportunity to visit Oleg’s personal art studio. I have met Oleg on many occasions as an ambassador of the City of Pskov, a Plein air organiser, a teacher and an artist, but its only when you experience an artist's personal studio space that you get an insight into the real person behind the artist, or the artist behind the person ?. A modest cluttered studio on the top floor of a block of flats in an unassuming part of the city, bristling with work, materials and personal artefacts. Such a creative space.
The day was capped with an early evening visit to my hotel from Nikolai from the Art College where I will be meeting some photography students tomorrow, he arrived bearing gifts of cheese, bread, beer, and a bottle of Russian Vodka. Well, it would have been an insult to have refused his gesture of opening the bottle of Vodka to toast my visit to his city. Such a shame that his English is as bad as my Russian, think we understood less than a fraction of the conversation but when Vodka and photography are involved who needs the spoken word ?