april mood board
we were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. we had to be patient. – michelle obama
Living in Sweden has taught me how to have a greater connection to nature and the way it started was through gardening. I started gardening during my second year living here and kept it pretty simple with an herb box and potatoes. The following year I created a larger space in the garden (the backyard) and added tomato plants, cucumber plants, leeks, and cauliflower in addition to the herb box and the potatoes. Everything grew well but the cauliflower became infested with worms – which totally freaked me out!!! So I took a year off the following year!
During the 3rd year of gardening I thought it would be interesting to start with seeds. Tomatoes, cucumbers, salad, corn – these were my basics and my essentials. This year was pretty fruitful – with the exception of the tomatoes because I planted them to late – lesson learned!
My senior year (the fourth year) of gardening I approached it with more preparation. I started my seeds in the house in March (which was still too late for the tomatoes – but I learned about vitamins for gardens) and I understood the process a bit more and tracked the progress. The weather conditions were also almost perfect with the exception of one major obstacle – we had little to no rain during the summer of 2018!
Connecting gardening to work – who knew the lessons learned from gardening would apply to life! During the 3rd and 4th years I started seeing results for D+C Contemporary and Kreativ Collabs and began to think about the similarities between starting a creative studio (actually establishing a new career in Sweden) and gardening! Planting seeds is like networking or creating new projects. During the first two years of gardening, I was also starting new professional passion projects and started introducing myself to professionals in Mariestad (with the hopes I would find a part-time job or possibly a client or two). After sending out emails and receiving some replies, some the replies turned into meetings and some of the meetings eventually turned into projects and professional opportunities. But I had no clue, I just hoped and kept working, and was patient!
During the 3rd year of gardening in 2017, this was the 2nd year of curating content for D+C Contemporary I curated an international pop-up exhibition featuring artists from D+C but also from friends from both Sweden and The States – the exhibit was called My Mariestad. The concept was to inspire artists to create images of #mymariestad – basically the things that I find most exciting about this quaint town. The exhibition took place during Mariestad’s Annual Kultur & Skördefest and was very successful with the amount of visitors.
During the 4th year of gardening, in 2018, I was also offered a part-time/temp position as the Project Leader for Mariestad’s Pilot Art Project called Off Season Art Gardening – what an amazing opportunity that I could not have ever dreamed of happening for me from this quaint harbor town. Off Season Art Gardening also encouraged a me to have a deeper connection with nature, and though it was not a Kreativ Collabs project – it inspired some ideas for my creative studio and more #konstcollabs. However, a konst collab that evolved from this position was a special exhibition that was included with the major exhibition that I curated as part of the Sweden Japan 150 Years program. Collaborating with minimal artist and Splace gallery owner Björn Nordén I curated two exhibitions within Splace this year. The first one took place during the summer and was called Space|Time Sweden|Japan and the second one happened in the fall and was titled Minimalism and a Japanese Garden in Mind!
Last year was such an exciting and fruitful year and despite the drought the garden flourished with corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs and beautiful sunflowers! And despite my anxiety about having steady income (I never worry about projects because I can always collaborate and curate) during the beginning of the year – things just worked out and my professional career flourished for 10 months out of the year!
This year in terms of gardening, I started planting seeds late February and early March and as far as my career goes I started a very part-time job with Konst Museum in February, and had my first project from the States (which did not end well, but was a VALUABLE learning lesson – a post about that coming soon)! And though I am uncertain about what will happen with the garden and my career over the next couple of months I am trying to not worry or obsess over what I cannot control and focus more on what I can by continuing to nurture the garden and start connecting with people who inspire me and with dream clients that value my services and time!
Feeling grateful and inspired and looking forward to more gardening and living a more abundant (and less anxious)life - xox Cec
photo note: all photos taken by cecily ferguson unless otherwise noted