Tanya Borodina
sweden teaches
How can one describe Swedish approach to art?
It is when you run at night in the rain from the mall and you blunder upon a giant head with
a fountain coming out of its mouth, located on a circular island in a roundabout. (Charlotte Gyllenhammar's sculpture 'Mother'). Or one may see among the common stones the polished shiny ones on Västra hamnen promenade. (Sigurdur Gudmundsson's installation 'Diamonds Are Everywhere') And in a small, but proud town of Lund there's a sculpture made by Alexander Calder standing near the school, which children are so fond of climbing on during breaks.

Examples like these abound Sweden, and can be stumbled upon where you expect them the least: sculptures and installations are well integrated in living areas. I love the fact that they're not hidden in the museums, and I and my favorite objects of art are living in the same city. On Holidays Swedes decorate some of the sculptures, putting scarves and dresses on them.

What about the streets? At first being a tourist you don't notice the lack of street art, but later it becomes obvious, even in comparison with neighboring Copenhagen. As an exception I can think of an artist in Malmö painting birds on any kind of surfaces (his works can be found on Instagram, account @birdie_malmoe). There are few places in the city where it's where graffiti artist can paint legally, but what's the point of street art if it's permitted, right?

While the youngsters paint legally, the ones who is a bit older take up the oil and canvas, or some do ceramics (others do photographs, but it hurts me personally to talk about that). Some even open their own galleries, just for the sake of selling their own works. In a city with population around 300.000 people there are as many as half a hundred galleries, and all are needed!

That's understandable, as Swedes' cute and cozy houses shall be necessarily decorated. Swedes love artists and artists return the favor: once a year, during the Easter week many artists open the doors of their studios (event is called Konstrundan), having a chat with customers during fika
(a Swedish coffee-break), and sell their works.
If you ever come around in Skåne during Easter time, don't miss the event!
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