woensdag 5 april 2017

A new studio for both Witty Art & Witty Projects (and much more): Studio PuRRR

So, I've been a bit behind on updating this Witty Art Blog - but for a good reason! The last couple of weeks have been insanely busy with preparing the move to my new workplace at Studio PuRRR, the creative artstudio I set up last year, together with my creative partner and fellow artist Deborah van de Beld. For a while, Studio PuRRR was a travelling pop up initiative, trying out some small-scale creative and culinary concepts on various locations - but pretty soon we found a more permanent place for ourselves.

We have moved into Schiezicht, a local, Delfshaven based community initiative, founded and ran by a group of dedicated locals who share the same views on grass roots community and place making, creative and social entrepreneurship, local economy and sustainability. It was there, when looking for a venue to host our production Horen Zien en Schranzen (an art and literature event featuring Dutch poets and singer-songwriters) that we stumbled across this really great space with the full potential of turning it into the ideal artstudio and the perfect homebase for both our creative companies and artist practices, as well as all other individual and combined projects: Studio PuRRR.

And as our luck would have it, the Schiezicht crew were looking for some new faces to join their team as well. So, after a couple of talks, we reached an agreement and we got the keys to what's now our very own studio!

Now, an important part of this agreement with Schiezicht is that both Deborah and I are both part of Schiezicht's core crew, helping this initiative grow and develop further. I do so by taking care of external communications (digital newsletter, website, and so on) and Deborah is part of the cooking team, which serves tasty homemade meals to the neighborhood at a friendly price. This fits seamlessly with our own vision on creative and social entrepreneurship, creating additional social value for the community.
Schiezicht means so much as ''view on the river Schie'', very apptly named as it's located directly on the riverside of the 'Delfshavense Schie' in an area of Rotterdam called Delfshaven - to be precise, on the outer fringe of a neighborhood called Bospolder Tussendijken. Perhaps not the most glamorous part of booming Rotterdam (hot, hip and happening on all kinds of To Be Lists and in the middle of the grip of gentrification) with high unemployment rates and many vulnerable people living in the margins of society. But to us, it's one of the most interesting because of its combination of a cultural diversity, social resilience and creativity, outer edginess and hidden gems of local entrepreneurship, artists and makerspaces. 

And sure enough, we aren't the only ones, as Bospolder Tussendijken managed to grasp the attention of The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, who visited the area and it's local makerspace Bouwkeet in person only very recently. Read an impression of her visit both here and here. Unfortunately for us, we were still busy renovating our own artists space then, but rest assured, we are more than ready for her next visit!

Either way, I for myself am extremely happy for the opportunity to be working in this new studio, which, in more than one way, proves to be the perfect venue for not only creating Witty Art and developing myself further artistically but to roll out further Witty Projects, in a way that suit me - because I firmly belief in the concept of commercidealism: the ability to run a succesful business and a profitable company, that will enable me to sustain myself as well as generating some form of social return. What exactly, I am right in the middle of finding that out - as I am still rebuilding my life and my business, after having lost my house and my home about almost two years ago. A process, I've been trying to visualise in my Witty Art Book ''My Life In Limbo'' (which I am behind updating too, will do so SOON!)

It's still a long way to go. It's still a steep hill to climb. 
But I no longer feel it's a whole mountain. 
And I've found, that going downhill no longer means hitting rock bottom.
I've found that rock bottom isn't that scary after all, too.

And I am determind to make this work.
Because I no longer simply believe I have a lot to offer to society.
I know I do. 
And this time, I will do so in the way that is right for both society and me.

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