lens-artists challenge # 110 – creativity in the time of covid

Tina, this is a really tough one for me … because I’m not at all creative just now and haven’t been during the last 5 months. Very little motivated … and have no interest at all.

Not that I suffer from it all .. quite happy that things are like they are just now.

Don’t really want to go anywhere even if Sweden has been totally opened the whole time (poor Sweden). I feel very contempt with life as it’s now.

I think a lot has to do with that I lost one of my best friends (Iris) to cancer 5 weeks ago and my team-mate Oscar (my Sony Powershot SX50 HS) isn’t feel good … so it has been away now for nearly 8 weeks to be repaired. Feel very lost without them both.

But at the beginning of July, I had a fantastic day out with my partner in crime, Ann- Christine@LEYA at Wanås Castle here in the Southern part of Sweden … that is an open-air art gallery, they display most art on their grounds (on fields and out in the forest).


They normally have a couple of guest artists every year, but this year we only noticed the art by Kimsooja (1957) who is a South Korean, multi-disciplinary conceptual artist based in New York, Paris, and Seoul.  Her practice combines performance, film, photo, and site-specific installation using textile, light, and sound.

“The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry.
It just gets dirtier.”
Frank Serpico

There was supposed to be art by the Philippine artists Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan that works with cardboard that we didn’t notice any art on display off and the London based Bangladesh artist Rana Begum that we only saw one piece from.

“Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour.”

Kimsooja’s most beautiful installation of live art was A Laundry Field, a new installation extending from her A Laundry Woman series. Kimsooja’s oeuvre is associated with traditional South Korean bedcovers, which she has used in several installations since 90’s.

“Look after your laundry, and your soul will look after itself.”
W Somerset Maugham

A Laundry Field, there she has instead chosen to work with 100 old-fashioned white sheets that in Sweden are traditionally embroidered with a monogram or decorated with lace—a frame of life that are a part of creating a home and that display care and reflection.

“Behind every successful woman is a basket of dirty laundry.”
Sally Forth

Which out in the middle of the beechwood forest the installation becomes a field of memories.

“Give me a laundry list and I’ll set it to music.”
Gioachino Rossini

The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L’inutile precauzione is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais’s French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775).
The première of Rossini’s opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L’inutile precauzione) took place in February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.


59 thoughts on “lens-artists challenge # 110 – creativity in the time of covid

  1. Viveka, I SO loved your post this week. First and foremost, my sympathies for the loss of your friend – so painful I know. Secondly I am very envious of your visit with Ann-Christine, whom I sincerely hope one day to meet. And finally, how wonderful to have an open-air art installation – hopefully all impervious to changes in the weather!!! I have a very distinct memory of the sheets I slept in in Austria nearly 50 years ago while traveling from studying abroad in France. They were crisp, hand-embroidered white sheets with a down quilt in a room that felt like heaven on earth. Such was their perfection that they remain clear in my cluttered mind! Funny how things like that stay with us.

    • Thank you, Tina! I really hope that you will able to meet both A-C and me. A trip to Southern Sweden should do you a lot of good. *laughing. We will make sure you will be busy and not have a dull moment.
      I remember my grandma’s sheets … just like those that where hanging out here in forest. And she always dried them outdoors the whole year around, but they where whiter than snow and always crisp. I must say that in Austria they still have those sheets at some guesthouses. In Sweden we still only use 100% cotton even if it’s duvet covers those days.
      Iris and I shared the arts and good food together – she have been so seriously ill for over a year now, so that phone call was expected. But I’m selfish and I still want her to be around. After she decided that enough is enough it took her 8 days to die. She had such a strong heart. She was a true warrior. but that battle she didn’t win. Miss her so.

      • A year of serious illness gives one an absolute right to choose a different alternative Viveka. I understand your sadness completely but also her choice. 8 days is a lifetime when one is suffering, she must have been quite something. So sad for your loss. As for a trip to Southern Sweden, yes please!

  2. Well, we had good intentions of going to Wanås during the summer break, but we didn’t make it early on and then it got hot. It’s on our go visit list for early summer next year.
    Sorry for your losses, it always a difficult time. I hope Oscar makes it back with a springy shutter and a zoomy lens. In the meantime, I have a Canon SX 50 hs that is sitting in my camera cabinet collecting dust that you are welcome to use until Oscar returns.

    • Ron, thank you so much for your comforting words. Wanås will have another fantastic summer next year with exciting artists and also their stationary art. You’re right in that not a choosing too hot day for the visit, even if you’re mostly out in the forest looking for hidden art if it is hot .. it’s hot at Wanås too. I may take you up on the offer regarding the camera. I have a little Powershot, that I used for years that takes excellent images … but we lost that lovely feeling (she have been in the draw too long, probably very upset over that Oscar took over ). Hopefully, they will be able to repair Oscar and in my world the longer it takes … the bigger chance that I will have him back in working order. Very kind of you to offer me your camera.

    • Sue, thank you so much … yes, she have left a big piece of missing, but she is in a much better place now or will be … out at sea. We haven’t seen each for over a year, she didn’t want to visitors … and in the end it wasn’t possible because of COVID-19. But her husband Thomas was by her side in every step. He has a lot to work through on his own now.

  3. Viveka–I am so sorry for the loss of Iris. Friends become family and that makes the loss even harder. Oscar….oh, dear. I hope he makes a quick recovery. The Laundry Field art installation is beautiful. That must be a most relaxing walk through the forest.

    • Loisa, thank you so much for your comfort. To be honest, my grief over Iris feels a lot more difficult than the loss of my mum, but she died from a good age. Yes, it was the most romantic and beautiful installation of living art I ever have seen. The sheets were so white and crips, I don’t have a clue how they could be of that quality hanging for months out in the forest. Just amazing. It’s very relaxing out at Wanås and the forest smells go good.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. Sweden is here waiting on you … and I promise you will enjoy your visit. Rather sooner, so I will be around. *laughing Not a spring-chicken anymore.

      • As soon as corona virus makes it safe to travel, I’m off again! I’ll add Sweden to my itinerary. It just looks so beautiful. Everytime you post, I get jealous.

      • I have now cancelled everything up to December, but then I was take the face mask on … visit both Poland and Portugal. It has been very messy with all my flight bookings, but everything is in order now. Booked Christmas in Porto. I promise it will all be here for you. Thanks again for your kind words, the land directly in my software.

      • I have seen the problems you have over there … just now. Somebody have to take control over it. It’s all over the place. And the US said poor Sweden to us … when we didn’t shutdown! Our economy is steady in the second quarter (we down very well, but not excellent), we haven’t spent all the money that was set aside for the Covid-19, but employment is high still.
        There will be a life after Covid-19.

      • To be honest … I can’t take another 4 years of the one you have. Even Donald Duck would do for me. *laughing He is getting wired and wired for every news conference. He holds the most powerful job in the world and acts like a 5-year-old. We out here in the rest of the world all hope for changes to happens.

      • Two days ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento lifted California’s ban on high-capacity automatic rifles. Which means, you can once again use bump stocks on AR-15s. I looked up the justices on the court website: all Trump appointees. If he gets another 4 yrs, he will kill us, for SURE.

      • This with weapons over in the states is crazy!! We have too many weapons on the streets here too, but nothing like over there. not every one can own a gun for self-protection. You would think that after all the mass shouting that has happened over there … there will be changes. I don’t understand America just now. Everything is all over the place … and there is no control. As we say here in Sweden … loads of talking but a small shop.

  4. How love that you two were able to get together, especially as you were missing your two friends so much! I would love to meet you both some day, although who knows if that will happen. France, which is where I now go each year (but not this one, of course) is at once much closer but also still far away. But we’ll see. There are so many of my European blogging friends I’d love to meet.

    Anyway, the sheets are beautiful. I have some lovely linens I purchased some years ago from a woman with a shop in Cleveland’s Little Italy. I really need to get them out and use them. Thanks for reminding me and I hope you’ve had a marvelous Sunday.



    • Janet, it would have been lovely if you would visit Sweden … there is more trips to be made before you cut up the passport for good. So who knows and I really hope so, because I would love to meet up with you.
      When I was in the US last time I meet up with 4 blogging sisters .. and one very nice man in Hong Kong, 2015. I wish we could arrange a convention … where bloggers flew in from all over the world. If I ever win on the Euro Lotto – I will arrange something. 90 million Euros should be enough for a good party. *laughing.
      When I lived in Canada, USA and UK .. I really struggled with that most bedlinen was in 50/50 – so take your linen and use them. It’s a bit of work .. I iron mine, but it so lovely to make the bed up with crisp cotton sheets. They keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I wish you a fantastic new week. LOts … and Lots.

      • Don’t worry. I won’t be cutting up my passport any time soon. 🙂 I’ve met a number of fellow bloggers, one of my favorite things to do, so perhaps one day we will get to meet as well. Of course if you win that lottery or get back to the US and visit the Southwest, be sure to let me know. We have an extra bedroom. 🙂

      • Janet, I love free pillows!!!! Just now is the dollar far to expensive for the Swedish krona, but I would love to go back … and also visit my friends in Canada, I have been to the Southwest – Las Vegas. If I win the lottery I will come, promise … *smile

  5. This is an excellent post. You are honest about what your Covid experience has been. I am sorry you have lost a friend and also lost , temporarily, your “team mate”. And the laundry! I LOVE it. So thank you for sharing all of this in one post!

    • Anne, thank you so much for your lovely comment … I have to say as Mr Trump said – it’s what it’s. even if it wasn’t the right attitude of a president. Hopefully, I will start travelling again in December. It is a pleasure to share this post with you .. and you’re always welcome back whenever you feel for it.

  6. . . . . warm thoughts sent across land and sea from far away . . . sometimes but little makes sense for a while . . . For me it also is ‘poor Sweden’ without the right to utter thus . . . some do not understand or agree . . .

    • Eha, we can only wait and see … of the result of Poor Sweden’s standing with COVID-19, but we had a good economic second quarter and we haven’t used up the money that was given for COVID-19 fight … but it’s not over yet.
      The only thing I don’t agree on is that they are so against the face mask. I wear one, but they are not in favour asking us Swedes to use it.

      • Vivi – my apologies for misunderstanding – i meant ‘poor Sweden’ because of the death so far of 5787 [precious lives because of the non-lockdown policy. Many of them were the most highly revered elderly. No joy here at the moment because of infected incomers – we have lost over 400 of our own across the country in the last seven months . . . but at least all state borders are closed and two are in complete lockdown and nighttime curfew . . . one trip per household per day for one hour to get food not travelling more than 5 kms. Huge fines put over a million into Govt coffers last week alone ! And the Royal Commission is already working to prosecute those responsible for the deaths. Our wonderful, wonderful army is everywhere helping . . . and, yes it is working of course . . .Economics will take care of itself .as long as no further people suffer . . . sorry for the misunderstanding.

      • I agree with you, Eha … our death total is very high and they are now investigating why. It’s a lot of elderly people that have died, but they that too many have been reported because of the COVID-19 related and the cause hasn’t been COVID related. They talked about at the press conference they held today. Far too high anyway for a small country like ours, but something went totally wrong in the beginning when it came to our service homes. Which they are now also looking into. I know Australia and New Zealand are very tough on their crackdown of the virus.
        Who is doing right or wrong here … the future will show us. Lockdowns are hard to start up again. Don’t worry … everybody has called us poor Sweden, but I think they have started to look at us through different glasses now. *smile – Still I want them to tell us to use face masks in shops and public transport, but they want just do it. Plenty questions today about it, but they don’t want it. They tell us to keep a distance instead … nobody is keeping a distance here in Landskrona. Not anywhere, so I use mask.

      • Vivi ! Thank you for taking what I said the way I meant it because I surely did NOT want to offend.You and I are small fry’ in our respective countries and can make but little difference. Here the states of Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania are to have closed borders until after Christmas, my state of NSW and poor Victoria are the ‘dirty’ ones. In Victoria not wearing a mask brings an on-the-spot fine of $A1650 ! Our next hassle will be that we aim to be 95% vaccinated with the Oxford vaccine as soon as available tho’ it may only be 30-40% effective and have unknown long-term side and after effects ! Compulsory – I may fight that !! No, Vivi, we do not know what the end game is but can but use our own knowledge to keep us in one piece , , , hugs !!

      • Yes, Finland is now closing down against many countries … I think its something we have to live until the vaccine is here. I don’t think we have a vaccine until the beginning of next year. I normally take the yearly flu jab and this year I will take it for sure, because at least if I get sick I know it’s not the yearly flu. At least I’m in a high-risk group (old) when the vaccine is here. I don’t it will help that Swedish Astra is involved in the Oxford vaccine. *laughing Afternoon hug.

  7. Great series, and laundry quotes! Who knew?!?! It’s noteworthy that a very common ‘complaint’ or experience during lockdown is lack of motivation. I should have, could have, done so much in the last six months, even within the house, and I have done so very little. A sad reflection on being human. 🙂
    “Just let a smile be your umbrella,
    On a rainy, rainy day
    And if your sweetie cries, just tell her,
    That a smile will always pay” –Bing Crosby, Perry Como, others

    • John, I’m so glad that I’m not alone in “doing nothing”, but I have to say as Mr Predient said – it’s what it’s (even if it wasn’t his greatest moments). And as you rightly say a reflection of being human, but I don’t think it’s a sad thing. So long we don’t feel sad about it, we are okay. I like your singing. Very nice. *laughing.

  8. Sorry things aren’t at their best right now. Losing a friend is awful and I know you and Oscar are ‘joined at the hip’. I’ve not sent you a hug in a while, Vivi. Here’s a big armful 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

  9. just a lovely post from a lovely day, Viveka. I did not know about Iris, so sorry. And shouldn’t Oscar be with you right now? That is a long time to recover!
    What has kept me going this summer is that Emma was home. Now she has left again, and feeling lower than ever. Like you say – no motivation to do anything. Denmark went away as well. Now I’m getting my greenhouse in a couple of weeks – have to have a project or I will slump down in the sofa and sleep. Don’t like using the camera anymore, don’t like working with my photos..depressed I would say. You look cool,Viveka – always.

    • Girlfriend, Denmark should happen in September, So cheer up. It has been far too warm for going on day-trips. I’m a bit worried about Oscar … maybe I should make a deal with Ron here, he has the same camera collecting dust, so all hope isn’t out. I really like that camera and not even a second hand on the market. They told me that it can take up to 2 months and it has been holiday times too. I’m worried.
      Good that you have project .. excellent. The only project I had is to get my 1,5-2 hours sunny coffee break out in the back yard. I have been shopping online too. *laughing.
      Thank you very much … I like to be looking cool, especially in a face mask. One of my my mum linen tea towels. Now we has make Copenhagen happen!!!! Big hug.

  10. Hi, Vivi. I’m so sorry about your friend and I hope Oscar comes back soon. The installation you visited with. Ann-Christine is fascinating. What a marvelous concept. A beautiful way to display traditional crafts and tell a story. about a time and place. I’m hoping your mood lifts, too.

    • Patti, thank you so much for your comforting. Yes, I miss my friend … but she didn’t have an honest chance against cancer, 3 different places, but she didn’t give up. Iris is at a good place now. Oscar????!!! I should have an answer in the coming 2 weeks. They said it can take up to 8 weeks and I handed him on the 1st of July. When we were at Wanås he still delivered by he wasn’t in great shape. The Laundry Field was truly beautiful … and we were amazed over that the sheets could be so white when hanging out in the forest for weeks. Patti, my mood is okay (but not excellent) .. thanks, but Ann-Christin aren’t that good.

  11. Very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Viveka, I know she will be greatly missed. I do remember the exhibit at at Wanås Castle. The sheets reminded me of my grandmother. She crocheted the edge of sheets and pillow cases for me as a gift when I went away to college.

    • Karen, thank you so much for your comforting words. Wonderful words. It’s a very Scandinavian old fashion way to decorate bedlinen. I grow up with them and I still have some of my mums.
      I guess that you don’t have them any longer. *smile

      • That’s a pity … I have some hand linen too. But never use them. Afraid to damage them. And the bedsheets .. the same, only use duvet covers those days.

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