Arriving in Europe

I am here now after the two air flights, three buses, and one train ride. I’m about 1.5 hours northeast of Prague. My contact at the studio picked me up at the bus, and took me to my hotel. This is the same hotel we stayed in last May and the person in charge remembered me, so that was very welcoming. As I get picked up to go to the studio at 5:50 am, he said that he would have the cook make me a breakfast to go each evening so I would be prepared for the next mornings work. Very kind people and the town was also very welcoming, other than the fact that the one internet coffee place didn’t have the right password for my computer to work there. I’ve taken a few shots of this little town, and there was an gallery opening with 50 people standing outside on the street in the cold, listening to a young man singing in the doorway, a song that reminded me of a young Frank Sinatra.
Standing on the street listening to a cruner

Standing on the street listening to a cruner

The flight out of Seattle to Amsterdam was a smooth one with me sitting next to a young man. I asked if he was from the Seattle area and he asked me if I knew of a country called Nigeria?

Here's my new friend Gbenga

Here

We had hours of conversation around his culture, his career choice as he is in the banking industry in charge of transferring money from banks that have extra funds to those who are short of funds. They use the same banking system as we do in the western countries which have been in great upheaval these last couple of months. They have the same problems as well. What I was facinated by was how much wealth there is in his country. He told me that his city Lagos, is like New York or many of the big metropolis cities with long commute times and too many cars on the road ways. He owns three cars, though he says that he will sell two of them when he returns home. He has been in the US for three weeks visiting his brother in Maryland whose home is going into foreclosure. We talked about the huge problem this is for so many families on our country and the banking systems that built loans on false value and promises of a wealthy future for all that bought into their mortgages. In his company and in most, they get 25 days off paid each year. His bank is owned by a woman and employs many women. He said in his culture that woman have the same rights and freedoms as men, and that has been a problem for him as his girlfriend who he wants to marry is off in England studying, and he wants to marry and raise a family. We spent many hours around this  and I felt like I was helping him see the bigger picture around his and her needs.   It was very connecting and he said that he would see if he could help bring my artwork to Nigeria for an exhibition, and also he sees a great need for reconciliation work between cultural and tribal divides.

Gbenga

Gbenga

So now you wonder why am I here, anyway. I came to work in the glass casting studio that cast my Genesis. I will post some photos to keep up with my daily activities and accomplishments. The jet lag has me on a strange sleep schedule. The first night I was here I slept till 2am and that was it, last night I slept from 6-11pm and then was up the rest of the night. Fortunately I have a good book to read. I’m very tired, likely from all that I did over the last couple months in preparation for this big adventure. I’m very happy to be at the studio and after I have solved the internet problem and the cell phone problem, I’ll be back to some sense of normalcy. Though not speaking the language in a foreign country doesn’t make life relaxing. The smallest tasks get very complicated without language skill. Like today, I ate lunch with two of the workers at the studio and none of us spoke a word of common language. I ordered what I thought was chicken with mushrooms on pasta, and what I got was deep fried mushrooms and boiled potatoes. No chicken at all, and they all thought this was what I ordered. I ate it quickly to keep up with the workers short lunch break. They are very kind and friendly, but we really don’t know what the other is really saying. There is one helper who speaks some English and he is my lifeline in the studio. He worked for Libensky and Brychtova in the mid 90’s until Stansilav died. He has been a great help. I am already feeling great appreciation, not just because of the language but that he is supplying me with tools as well as where to find whatever I need.

I’ll post some photos of what I working on and also some of the community events, like last night was the Christmas Tree lIghting. OK here come the photos.

This is the place where for two days, I couldn't get their password to work

This is the place where for two days, I couldn

Approaching the hotel the first night

Approaching the hotel the first night

Here's a special moment

Here

Bringing the Christmas Holiday lights to the people here

Bringing the Christmas Holiday lights to the people here

Here I'm very happy with my new mold

Here I

Clay Model

Clay Model

I will post more tomorrow once I have internet access again, and I make more progress with my work here. Thanks for viewing and if you want to write something about all this, it might stimulate some interesting comments. Thanks, Brian

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Explore posts in the same categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

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