After my last post I thought about how I've often gone to countries not speaking the language at all and have simply pointed at parts of the text on the menu in the hope that I was choosing things that would end up resembling a meal.
This made me go and dig out the sketchbooks where I'd made notes in an attempt to try and learn from these experiences, a way to remember the words for 'cat giblets' or 'face of pig' for future reference. The page above was made during a typical 'point-and-shoot' dining experience. This was in Budapest in 1992, I had just got a degree in colouring-in from Brighton. Not knowing what else to do, I managed to get a grant to spend a term at the Hungarian College of Art and Design in Budapest, they didn't make me very welcome and refused to let me use the school facilities so I spent my days in the city's cheap eating and drinking places filling sketch books and taking photos. I dug them out this weekend and fell down a rabbit-hole of memories:
At the end of my residency, to fulfill the terms of my contract I had to put on an exhibition of my work, so I invited people to come to my room and look at these sketchbooks, one of the college tutors edited an arty magazine called Magyar Narancs and several months after I had left town he put a little feature in the magazine, a photocopy was posted to me along with a translation of the text to the left of the image
An Engish girl, taughened(sic) by the salty air of Brighton, drifted into the Trabant-smoked streets of Budapest. She sat into the low-flying bakelite, tiled Budapest; she was flying as a black butterfly between the battered houses. Her drawings, like the magazine illustrations of the thirties, are travel drafts about the magic. Metaphors, jotted down on mustard-stained grease-proof paper; cooked-sausage-sketches. Espresso-bar tables, Dobos-cake crumbs on them, are sweeped into the sketchbook.
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