Seattle Part IV

Thursday 8th May

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We met in the morning for brunch at Oddfellows. I went for biscuit and egg, which turned out to be a scone with some scrambled egg and, confusingly, jam.

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After filling ourselves with noms, we headed to the exhibition space in order to set up for the evening. It was hard work, but we managed. We had an extra pair of hands when the lovely Ashley from the International Bipolar Foundation arrived. They were instrumental in helping with this project, so it was nice that she could be there to see the exhibition.

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Ben was lucky and avoided any of the heavy lifting as he was the official photographer for the event (actually the reason we were in Seattle in the first place). He was in charge of taking pictures of us dragging gigantic babies around, holding up boards, drilling and assembling various pieces of complicated hanging equipment.

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The show went really well. There was a great turnout, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I got to meet some friends of friends, as well as some strangers, and a man who kept looking at my boobs.

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Ellen Forney came along!

By the end of the night I think we were all glad to have a bit of a sit down after a day on our feet!

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Friday 9th May

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With feet still aching from the exhibition the night before, not to mention the fact that we hadn’t stopped walking since we arrived, we headed for breakfast at Top Pot (classic), before gingerly walking downtown to the aquarium. It began to rain half way, so our feet were glad to stop for another coffee break!

Seattle Aquarium took a little bit of finding. We ended up exploring quite a few levels of Pike Place Market on our way down, but it was worth it. The first section includes a section where you can touch some of the creatures of the deep, but they all looked a bit minging, so I decided to leave well alone. As well as various fish, I spotted a couple of octopi, watched the feeding of the harbour seals, and spent a long time cooing over the sea otters.

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In the evening, we met up with Tom at Dick’s Drive In, where we devoured a couple of burgers each, before heading to Rhino Room for cocktails (for the boys) and wine (for me).   After a couple of drinks, we headed back to the exhibition to see how Missy and Kim were getting on during their second night. Again, it was pretty busy, and they seemed really happy with the turnout. It was a bit chilly in the venue, so Ben, Tom and I decided to head upstairs to chill out with a second dinner, before heading home in a cab.

Saturday 10th May

After packing up, we arrived at Kim’s house in time to help everyone unload the exhibition from the van. We had a spot of lunch before helping out with a shopping trip to buy food for the Eurovision party which they were having later that day. Sadly, our flight time meant that we couldn’t attend the party, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t help out with our knowledge of european food and drink.

Finally, we waved goodbye to our friends at the airport and caught a flight home, looking forward to not walking anywhere for a few weeks!

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2:365 ucki ood Book

Last year, my friend Missy, part of ucki ood, set herself the ambitious project of painting a small canvas each day for a year. Seventeen years ago, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and this project has been part of her opening up to friends and family and speaking publicly about the condition for the first time. 
I’ve seen glimpses of the work throughout the year, including the first 120 pieces displayed in Brussels last year, and have been impressed at every step by the range of the work, and the effort which Missy has put into the project.
Now, ucki ood are in the process of turning this body of work into a book. They’re looking for funding through Kickstarter, and are offering fantastic rewards in return for support. In return for just $10, supporters will receive a bundle of five high quality postcards with selected images from the book, with higher levels of support being rewarded with anything from calendars to oil painted reproductions of the work, as well as signed first editions of the book.

Not only is this a fantastic piece of work, but anything which breaks down the stigma associated with mental health issues is fine by me. If you’re interested in art, would like to welcome more public awareness of bipolar disorder, or just have some money burning a hole in your back pocket, then head over to ucki ood’s Kickstarter page and have a little look.
One day, I hope that everyone will feel able to open up about their mental health if they want to, knowing they will be supported by family and friends. My friend is bipolar, and she’s perfect to us, the people who know and love her.

All pictures: ucki ood

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ucki ood are exhibiting in Brussels this weekend and I would highly recommend that you check it out.  
 
Comprising Douglas and Rask (who could presumably have an alternate career as a pair of awesome seventies detectives), ucki ood is a transatlantic studio, originally formed in Brussels in 2010. Now Douglas is based in New York, while Rask remains in Brussels until the summer, when he will head back to his hometown of Seattle, and presumably make their lives a little easier. 
 
Having previously exhibited at Burning Man in Nevada, in New York, and in Brussels, this show is described as a heartfelt farewell to Brussels, the city where they first met and collaborated. 
 
The first thing you notice on stepping through the door is the gigantic baby curled up on the floor, with a further three smaller babies in the background. labour:release is a set of sculptures which sets out to explore the human condition, and which, I think, leaves everyone with a different, yet lasting, impression. 
 
2:365 is an arresting piece of work, in which the mood of the artist is painted onto a different canvas everyday. Even with only 120 of the works on show, this piece is stunning. It’s amazing to be able to track someones mood over that period of time, just by looking at a wall of canvasses. 
 
suspension is a multi disciplinary piece, comprising both painting and sculpture, which once again explores the mind of the artist, as well as modern society. 
 
back home is, I think, my favourite project. I’m probably not going to do it justice, but I will attempt to explain it… The contours of the sitters back are mapped on canvas, and then painted based on the colours of aerial photographs of the sitters home region. These pieces are lovely, and not necessarily recognisable as backs at first glance. For expats, your home region is often more important to you than it necessarily would be if you had remained there, so it’s fantastic to be able to see where someone is from displayed in such a personal way. 
 
The exhibition is open daily between 14h and 17h, from Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd May 2013. Avenue Emile de Beco 116, 1050 Ixelles.