Gothenburg, an old port city on the North Sea, is the second largest city in Sweden (besides Stockholm). Gothenburgers will tell you it far outstrips the capital in charm, beauty and wit. You could easily spend a week here, but if you are pressed for time, let us suggest a jam-packed two days:
As an ancient Chinese temple makes it way by boat to Sweden’s west coast – Pilane Sculpture Park 2012 looks set to showcase its most eclectic art yet…Posted by mariaw | Under Art, Culture, History, Nature Monday May 21, 2012
Set on Tjörn Island on Sweden’s west coast, an hour’s drive north of Gothenburg, Pilane – Sweden’s coolest sculpture park – is currently a hive of activity as it opened for the season on 17 May. The creator of Pilane, Peter Lennby, was originally living a hectic life as a city dweller, but has now transformed into a rural sheep breeder who uses a chainsaw to reshape the local landscape. Situated in an ancient graveyard on the island of Tjörn, his sculpture park now attracts 60,000 visitors each year. Click “Read the rest of this entry” for his insight into this year’s showcase.
Between the 23rd and the 25th of September, many people travel from farm to farm to take part of the annual Harvest Feast in Sweden. This over 1000 years old tradition has become one of the largest fall time celebrations in Sweden, and even though the feast still is centered around the year’s harvest, it now also includes many other nice events, such as music performances and exhibitions of local art.
Skaraborg is a part of West Sweden, where plenty of interesting and fun events take place during this weekend of celebration. At Skaraborg’s Harvest- and Cultural Feast visitors can shop locally produced and ecological food, skin products, jewelries, decorations, and most kinds of other handicrafts. There will also be many activities such as art- and photo exhibitions, pony rides, thrilling ghost-walking tours, music performances, and much more.
One special part of this year’s Harvest- and Cultural Feast in Skaraborg, is the special theme in Kinnekulle, Light & Fire. In order to exorcise the autumn’s coming darkness, Kinnekulle will invite you to music and dancing performances, fire shows, fire sculptures, a torchlight procession, and much more. Let there be light!
Upmarket is an annual outdoor crafts fair for high quality applied arts and design products made by hand. Approximately 60 exhibitors show a wide range of work, from fun design to unique and one-of-a-kind art pieces. 20 new and talented students are also invited. Find something for your home, for yourself or for a friend; or just a new favorite craft artist. The fair takes place in the lush, green park Trädgårdsföreningen/Garden Society of Gothenburg. The park is one of the best preserved 19th century parks in Europe, located in the middle of the city. Read more.August 19-21
So, here we are again. One of northern Europe’s most hyped festivals, set in urban environment in the cultural capital of Sweden, is about to start. Welcome to Way Out West, Gothenburg, Sweden. Explore West Sweden will be present and report live every day on what to do and how to do it.
This year’s festival is the biggest so far. The tickets, normally easy to acquire even in the days before the party starts, have been sold out for weeks even though the festival site is expanded and more people let in. Many of the “side events”, such as more or less officially endorsed concerts and clubs, are expected to be full. Therefore the hype is also bigger than ever and the question “Are you coming to WoW?” has been heard between friends all over Sweden this summer. If you are in Gothenburg and planning a visit (maybe you’ve always wanted to see Kanye or Prince?), then please 1. let us know through the blog or Facebook and 2. expect to spend some time waiting in lines.
The festival’s popularity has also prompted Luger, the organizer, to introduce a couple of tools to improve the experience and facilitate for the visitors. Perhaps the best of these are the more social media friendly features, such as an interactive Way Out West iCalendar, frequent use of sites such as Twitter and Flickr and – the most welcome novelty – a brand new app for smartphones. The app connects to Facebook and let you see on an interactive map on Gothenburg what’s going on around you. It’s free and very popular.
In order to maintain this interactive approach during all three days, the area is now covered in a free WiFi network.
The area opens tomorrow but the party starts tonight with several happenings around town. Explore West Sweden will be there and report. We just have to choose between a photo exhibition in the harbor, barbecue downtown or a James Blake concert in the beautiful church Annedalskyrkan. We might do them all… Stay tuned!
The sculptures include the work of the famous British artist, Tony Cragg, currently exhibiting at the Louvre Museum in Paris; the Irish artist, Eva Rothschild, creator of the cutting-edge ‘Empire’ sculpture in Central Park, New York and the renowned American sculptor, Keith Edmier, famous for his collaboration with Farrah Fawcett and his exhibits at many contemporary museums worldwide, including the Tate Modern. Here Keith reflects on what inspires his work and describes what is so special about Sculpture at Pilane 2011…
Describe your sculpture at Pilane? What was the inspiration behind it and what appeals to you about having it showcased at this site?
My sculpture at Pilane takes the form of a Viking Age boat burial. I am connecting this custom to a shipwreck from my own time and place – The S S Edmund Fitzgerald – an iron ore freighter ship that went down in the waters of Lake Superior in North America on 10 November, 1975. The boat in my sculpture is a lifeboat based on the ones recovered from the Edmund Fitzgerald. The interior surface of the lifeboat’s hull is covered in taconite pellets (a type of iron ore) that was the cargo of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The lifeboat is set into the ground, in a trench in the middle of a large mound of earth. After the sculpture’s exhibition, the lifeboat will be covered in earth and remain at Pilane underground, for it to be buried permanently.
I first came to Pilane in November 2010 to meet with Peter Lennby, the owner of Pilane, to discuss a possible sculpture project. I’d previously worked with Dylan Farnum, an extremely talented art fabricato and he recommended my work to Peter. I knew intuitively that the site would become a place of inspiration for me, given my ongoing interest in sculpture in its relationship to geology, archaeology, history and belief, especially with regards to the forms of monuments and memorials.
I came to Pilane with the knowledge that the exhibition space was located on the site of an Iron Age burial ground. I was particularly drawn to the stone judgment circles there. This led me to initially investigate the rock art of Tjörn in particular, but also the rock art of the Bohuslän region of West Sweden in general.
When I first came to Pilane, I visited the petroglyph at Basteröd, which is close to the exhibition site. The carving on the rock depicts fifteen ships. This was the initial inspiration to make a sculpture based somehow on the form of a boat.
I’m extremely excited that the sculpture is installed at the actual place of its inspiration and the possibility that it will become another archaeological layer to the rich history of Pilane.
How did you get into sculpting and what are your proudest projects to date?
In one way or another I have been sculpting since I was a child. I initially worked in Hollywood during the 1980’s doing special effects. I decided to pursue sculpture full time in 1991 when I moved to New York. I began exhibiting my work in 1993. Since then, I have made numerous sculptural projects in all sorts of mediums. I have to say my project at Pilane is one of my favourites – both in it being my largest, outdoor, permanent sculpture to date and in its direct relationship to the site.
What do you think of the other exhibits at Pilane this year?
I really think the whole exhibition came together beautifully. It’s a nice mixture between pieces that blend into the landscape like mine, and those that contrast it with their forms, colour and materials. The exhibition is laid out almost cinematically, but with the added advantage of the visitor’s ability to experience it from unlimited vantage points – in an environment I can almost guarantee they have never seen contemporary art in before.
What do you think of West Sweden?
I have found West Sweden incredibly beautiful, tranquil, and somehow magical. Its history and pre-history have not only inspired this project, but future ones as well. In addition to Pilane and the island of Tjörn, I would highly recommend a visit to Vitlycke Museum in Tanumshede to explore some of West Sweden’s most important rock carving sites.
Sunvil trip planners has put together a seriously awesome 3 day city break guide to the lovely town of Gothenburg. This is perfect for all of you looking for a quick weekend getaway. Check it out:
Day One: Why not visit the Maritime Museum, explore the harbour-side preservation area of Klippans kulturreservat, and join the locals at the bustling fish market, Feskekorka (Fish Church), for lunch? Return to the centre of Gothenburg by canal cruise boat, winding your way alongside the park of Tradgardsforeningen. In the evening a cruise into the archipelago surrounding the city is highly recommended.
Day Two: Wander through the narrow seats of the Haga district with its picturesque wooden houses, popular cafes and boutique shops. Allow time in Haga to relax, watch the world go by and enjoy a tasty Kanelbullar (cinnamon bun). Continue your exploration by climbing to the hilltop fortification of Skansen Kronan (Crown keep) and Gothenburg’s most decorated church Oscar Fredrik, from where a magnificent panorama of the city awaits.
Day Three: Gothenburg boasts attractions to suit all interests and ages. Why not spend the day visiting Gothenburg’s art museum; the Liseberg amusement park – Sweden’s premier tourist attraction; shopping in Sweden’s leading indoor shopping centre (150 shops) or in the areas of Vallgraven, Haga or Linnegatan; or escape the bustle of the city and visit the beautiful manor house, gardens and restaurant of Gunnebo?
My name is Anna Ganslandt and I am a visual artist.
Lovely to meet you. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Sweden, except for some years in my childhood when I lived in Spain. I did most of my studies at the University of Gothenburg — I have a Masters degree in photography and a bachelors degree in art history — where I also teach.
What’s the art scene in Gothenburg like?
The Gothenburg art scene has suffered from being in–between the scene in Stockholm and Malmö. Stockholm, being the capital of Sweden, and Malmö, geographically close to Europe, has more Internationally connected art schools which produces vibrant art scenes.
Nevertheless there is something interesting and underground with what’s happening in Gothenburg now. The music scene, for example, is well known for being very progressive. I think that the lack of big institutions and financial means have forced our small town to create its own conditions. Gothenburg rest on its own history as an old working town; a shipping town with a dynamic shipyard and car factory, where the institutions, museums and hospitals are founded on donations.
Leonardo. Raphael. Michelangelo.
No, not the Ninja Turtles, but the Renaissance artists for whom they were named, were not, as their reptilian counterparts, the best of friends. In fact, most would describe their relationship with something akin to rivalry. These three great minds of the turn of the 16th century competed to create works of genius to inspire commissions and of course fame.
Now, for the first time, the trio will spend the next 8 years traveling the world in a new exhibition starting out in Gothenburg Sweden in March of 2010. And There Was Light is a unique and intriguing exhibit put together by artistic director Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Leonardo da Vinci museum in Tuscany and scientific director Francesco Buranelli, the scientific director. It unveils the intricacies of their relationships with each other, the competition, the rivalry, and the brilliant works that it fueled.
Traveling with the expedition, will be da Vinci’s ‘La Bella Principessa’ (1490), Michelangelo’s ‘Plan for the bastions at Porta al Prato’ (1529) and Rafael’s ‘Study of a possessed boy with father to the right from Transfiguration’ (1519). ‘La Bella Principessa’ has been the victim of overnight fame, when it was discovered that a piece bought at auction for a mere $19,000 by a Canadian collector, was proven to be an original da Vinci worth over $165 million (or approximately 8,684.2 times what it realized at auction).
Eriksbergshallen in Gothenburg, West Sweden, will host the exhibition (20 March-15 August 2010) prior to its world tour. Admission is SEK 200 pp (£17).
It is surely a once in a lifetime opportunity to see not only such inspiring works by the three Masters of the Renaissance all in once place, but also to discover how they worked, how they lived, and how they competed with each other to be the best of the best.