Precondition for happiness

I’ve been visiting friends at Tractieweg, the Utrecht place where I had an atelier when studying at HKU. Nice to go back, but a relief not to be in that system any more. The first two years were good, the third indifferent, the fourth plain bad – glad I switched to the masters for that last year.

Pic is taken in Mieke Vera’s atelier – she started out as an evening student in my class, but had to drop out due to trouble in her private life. She’s back, now, and in her fourth year. Nice to have an atelier for oneself  – up until now I always shared. 

Studio visit reminded me of Moniek Toebosch’ spiel about atelier space (SMBA book launch):
The thing I most desired was my own studio, a place where new things could take shape, a physical and chiefly a mental space that was larger than ‘outside and inside’ combined. Back then, I could never have suspected that fifty years later this physical space would have been reduced to nothing more than a keyboard and a screen. Back then there was the deep yearning for the physical and simultaneously aimless studio space, the profound sense of it being the locus where something could happen. A space where objects, casts, lumps of clay, plaster of Paris, firing ovens, welding equipment and hundreds of little models stand on narrow shelves, a chaise longue and especially the aroma of warm wax. I have never shaken off that romantic image of the studio of my parents’ friends, even though the modern-day studio looks very different., I would even venture to state that having one’s own studio is the ultimate precondition for happiness, from which everyting else stems. It is the professionally magnified happieness of people who have a little shed in the garden and can rummage around there, make or repair something, briefly shut themselves away”.

I am about to create the famous ‘room of my own’ – the big girl having left the house for pastures far far greener. I am a day’s worth of toil away from having this room cleared – yet I keep postponing. Why?  “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” …

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