Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 22

It has been a great time in Penza so far. My tools were stopped in China and didn't come for a week, that was fine as I think I have lots of time to get my piece done and this gave me a chance to help others. I cleaned rubble from a lot of sites and assisted Pierre from France and Barbara from Poland for pretty much all of the first 9 or 10 days, up until the 19th I guess when I went to look at the lathe and buy some stuff I would need like sandpaper etc.

The hospitality has been awesome, the food is terrific and there is live entertainment during and after supper every night. Each Sunday we go on a tour of some kind, into Penza or around the province of Penza. It is the cultural centre of the Volga region and rich in art. Everywhere we go the bus is lead by a Police car with lights flashing and siren going when he passes vihicles. I can't believe it but they sure have a different reaction to visiting artists in Europe and Asia than back home. I do see the point, works of art are being created that will be enjoyed by the public and add to the culture here for centuries and more. I think to most of us we are just happier than ever to get together and create art, talk long into the night about it, enjoy each others company. That formula sure worked in Bergen but I do hope that in the future even more of the public will come out and see the process and the development of the sculptures. That only happens once.

Sept 22
Back to work today, burned out my drill right off the bat. Will have to get a new one tomorrow, now time is getting short so I’ll have to work hard the next four days. Time kind of snuck up on me here, I couldn’t get on to the lathe for the first week and ½ and now with a few little problems coming up I can see I will finish just in time. Would be nice to have a few extra days to tour Penza etc but I had a lot of fun helping others where I could during the first period of time where I couldn’t begin my work. There has been entertainment every night so far, children dancing and playing instruments, traditional music and dancing, classical music, a man whose voice blew everyone away……if I can figure out how to put video on my blog I’ll do that otherwise pictures will have to suffice. Seems every night it all ends in a social event happening somewhere, at the pool, in someone’s room or the dining room etc. Having the time of my life again as always seems to happen at these symposiums. I have gotten into having everyone sign my hat with a felt pen as a memento, today I got that done at lunchtime, only missed a few. I brought an extra hat for the gig in Viet Nam, so two new hats for the wall on this trip.

Workers at the factory cutting my wood into smaller pieces so that the lathe would handle it

Eugene, my assistant with some decorative work that he does by hand, no copy machines here

My Sculpture not yet assembled

This is my neighbor at the work site, Immonen from Finland. I love his sculpture, conveys a sense of grace, beauty and love. Perfect for the theme of this symposium "family"

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