Irina and Silviu came from Wales one chilly winter morning to chat over coffee and take some pictures of us in the truck and our current studio.
Also introducing new member, Frida, who came from GALGOS DEL SOL (we'll do a post about dog rescue shortly, there's lot's to say!)
To see the interview and lots of lovely colour photos by Silviu, click that button just down there.
Our return to the UK from Spain was motivated by various factors; we were two years overdue our MOT, George had some medical necessities that couldn't be met in Spain, and we had a yearning for the English weather(!)
We encountered trouble pretty much immediately thanks to Juan (the landlord previously mentioned as an outstandingly nice guy) who turned out to better fit the stereotype of dodgy spaniard from the countryside, with his finger in many pies - including a Vetinary "practice" in which he mainly maimed/neglected animals. He decided we owed him money for a water bill, claiming we had been running the taps 24/7 and therefore owed him over 700 euros despite the fact that we had only had access to water for a few hours in the evening throughout August. After heated debate and attempts to reason with him by not only us, but his own wife, and some Spanish friends we called for support, we agreed to pay him half of the money just to get out of there. why pay? because he knew about our lack of MOT and threatened to call the police if we didn't.
On the road out of Cijuela, not even past Granada, we were pulled over by the same two members of the Guardia that often came to the bar for a beer with Juan.
It turned out our attempt to pay had bounced and he'd discovered this shortly after we left, getting straight on the blower to his Guardia mates. They searched high and low drugs tested and questioned us, and examined a laminated piece of nonsense we confidently handed them in lieu of legal papers for the truck. They bought it (their english was non-existent, phew!) and then the fat sweaty one got out a flick knife. 'Why do you have that knife?' we asked. 'It's my knife.' - an enlightening response, pretty sure police officers aren't permitted to just wang knives around but ok. He proceeded to walk around the truck, veering towards each wheel and looking surreptitiously over his shoulder at N, who was following him closely thanks to the quick thinking of G. This charade went on for a good few turns around and around the truck until the fat one got a bit tired and flustered and gave up.
After that we had a very jolly trip back to blighty, stopping at beautiful deserted lakes and familiar rivers until we reached the ferry, where we took to our cabin, feeling like we were on a cruise. We met a music teacher from our old school in Stroud on the boat - he was on a cycling trip. We gave him a lift on the other side, meeting his wife in a layby near Dursley to exchange him. Then onwards to the open arms and much needed bath of George's parents.
Once again it has been far too long since we wrote our blog, BUT for good reason! we are days away from receiving the first 6 residents of our new artists programme, and have been working our bums off to get everything ready in time.
I will post photographs of the new studios soon, but for now here is our little blog where we will be showcasing the resident artists, exhibitions and collaborations born out of our latest project.
We decided to live in a truck to escape the horrible world of rental, yet here we are renting once more. The difference is we LOVE our landlord! We arrived in the small motorway town of Cijuela at the end of September to rent a studio for the winter after 8 months of making work on the road. Four months later and we're still here, and will be until at least September. This is because Juan Carlos, landlord, ceramicist, vet and restauranteur extraordinaire offered us free range of the space. Juan's keen to get more artists here because they can use the space to work (no one else is interested in living here because there's simply nothing going on work or otherwise). However, like many people around here he is already working in number of different roles to support the family, and doesn't have the time nor the database of keen artists to make it work. That's where we step in! With a big old farmhouse and huge barn at our disposal we are able to build 7 large studio spaces (plus 1 ceramics studio with juan's old equipment) and rent them, all bills included, to artists at an actual reasonable and affordable price. Juan has also given us space to grow our own vegetables and we feed his animals in exchange for use of his washing machine.
In July we were asked by a UK based magazine to provide photographs of the Boon in action. Obviously this required the expertise of none other than our favourite pussycat, the acest photographer and all round good egg KATYA BLOODY BARTON. Here is her website: www.katyabarton.com, her instagram: @kbartonc and here are her photographs of us:
(All photographs copyright of Katya Barton, do contact her via her website for details on freelance photoshoots)
We still live in the BoonRig of course, we just wanted a BIG OLD BARN to get a good body of work done over the winter months. Then we'll set off in Spring with all the work and hopefully some exhibitions planned in far away and exotic lands to where we will travel. This is also an opportunity to do a much needed re-jig of the Boon's layout. WATCH THIS SPACE for more DIY and new paintings...
Our latest home at la Platja del Cap de Grills in Sitges. About 1hr drive out of Barcelona this beach is completely lovely. It is very quiet, all the tourists are on the main beach down the road, we have mostly local fishermen and other travellers for neighbours. The police come by and wave and smile at us once a day and everybody wants to come in and see the studio. We are also next to a golf course, on arrival we were warned by the club groundsman that this game is not a spanish forte, so we spend lots of time dodging flying balls, and the boon has taken a few hits. We have also done some painting
An English translation of our interview with Catalan newspaper, el Punt Avui, thanks to Jess at UntitledBCN
A few photos from our opening night at UntitledBCN in Gracia, Barcelona. The show is on till the 15th SO GO AND SEE IT. The preview was a big deal for us as it was our first show since the Boon has been on the road and our first international exhibit. Ou
Boon Artist George has only gone and got in the blooming BBC news! The John Moores Painting Prize will be showcased at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery from 9 July to 27 November. see http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-36100953 for more details