The Art wave and very freaky waves!

So I had the yearly exhibition in the gallery/barn for the Island Art Wave(Konstvågen). 100 artists open up their studios for the public. As usual I tried not to stress it before the weekend but ended up being super stressed. It paid off though and I think we had record sales on the Saturday! A lovely weekend with great people, sold many pictures and lots of “fika”(coffee and homemade cakes). We doubled the amount of smoked salmon and sourdough bread but still sold out on the first day!
The weather in Sweden has been extreme, it didn’t rain from May until this Monday. On Sunday there was a huge fire at one of the other islands, Björkö, in our end of the archipelago. Luckily it was put out in a few hours with the help of islanders, fire department from Gothenburg, ships spraying water and 4 helicopters water bombing the area. Luckily only a garage burned down and a few houses got zinged and smoke damaged by the fire, no persons got injured. Then today it got really windy again, a warm wind, very strange clouds and I had a message from my mum saying -Don’t go swimming!! Apparently the water had suddenly receded, sinking the water level about 1.5 meters and it all came back again within 5 minutes. Crazy! When we’ve been on holiday in England we have been warned about the tide but in Sweden it is unheard of, the water might change slowly over night but like this??
So we skipped out on swimming today but luckily we had an amazing swim yesterday evening. So many beautiful memories to save for a cold winters day…

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Beach bum bug

So after my “hard” working week my daughter was nagging me about camping and I felt like I was very prepared after sleeping on a beach for a few nights. This blog is mainly about the islands in the Northern archipelago outside Gothenburg but as we ended up on another island I will make an exception. We took the bus in to town, an hour on the train and then 40 minutes on the bus and ended up on Tjörn.
Once there, in Skärhamn, we rented a bike and as it turned out you could borrow an electric bike for free. They only had one so we ended up taking turns which worked out really well and the electric bike was so much fun!
The only thing planned was going to the arts park called Pilane and then sleeping in a wind shelter. We soon realised the island Tjörn is really big comparing to Hönö… So we cycled to Pilane, took about 1.5 hours. An awesome ride, some by the road but mainly across fields and cows and horses.
Pilane is so simple but amazing! Basically it is just a big field and mountain with sculptures but fantastic sculptures in the middle of nowhere. It was so hot so to be honest we didn’t see all the sculptures instead spent most of our time laying in the shade of the big giant head.
Then cycled back to Skärhamn, well we did a small detour, looking at the map thinking there was a wind shelter close by but turned out to be a camping site. We soon realised the shelter on the other side of the island would take hours to get to and decided on a nature reserve which turned out to be a block of flats(or maybe possibly I read the map wrong). So anyways ended up on a small sandy beach in the middle of Skärhamn, waited until all the kids and families left, then made dinner with our new gas burner kitchen thingy.
All we had was a couple of sleeping bags but the day was so hot I thought it would be enough. My daughter fell asleep heavily, snoring away, but I think I stayed awake until at least three waiting for moped gangs and serial killers to attack.
At 5am we were both awake, freezing and everything was damp. We moved around to the sunny side and left as soon as the local food shop opened. It was a great adventure but next time we will bring tents and camp in a less populated area. Pilane was amazing though and we will make it a once a year thing because they change the sculptures every year. A must see!

Art market down the road

I was invited to the local Island heritage centre to join in an arts/crafts market. Luckily only down the road so it was enough to pack my bicycle trolley with pictures. I decided this time to not get stressed before hand and only show what pictures I already had(partly because it’s summer and also it was my birthday) but of course couldn’t help myself to make some new wet plates and cyanotypes. There were about ten other art&crafts people selling everything from paintings to woven carpets, but I actually didn’t have time to take pictures or have a better look at their things because of a steady stream of visitors.
Everyone hade a table to put their things on, me selling photographs it gave me something to think about. I ended up cutting some wood into pieces, getting inspiration from a menu on a wooden stand at a restaurant a few days before, to stand my plates on. It worked really well! I especially liked the one for the Ambrotype where I made two scores in the wood and put a black plate behind the glass plate. A very nice day, looking forward to next year!

What to do?

So there’s been rain, storm and snow one after the other and then more of everything. What to do on this opposite of summer paradise island? Actually plenty. The last two weekends I’ve been to two exhibitions at the next door island Öckerö. One with a painter and a local ceramic artist, I just love his ugly fish! Also quite funny that most people compare them to the politicians running the islands… Last weekend a photographer had a vernissage. The exhibition was called Iphone diary and consisted of pictures taken with his mobile, the complete opposite to my work but I loved it. I would have like to buy a picture but realised I would never be able to choose so I opted for three of his little books instead.

Now there’s a very successful business man on the island and apart from starting up the biggest company on Hönö he’s bought the gym, the bowling hall, a restaurant and conference center and now he’s opened a cinema as well. Soon there’s no need for us to ever venture into “town”(which is what us Islanders call Gothenburg). It’s a great experience with red carpets, 50 seats and of course popcorn and stuff. Then the very best thing, no 1,5 hour travel home after the movie only a 10 minute walk!

Artsy fartsy

So the summer ended in an art bonanza. First The Artwave, when all artists on Hönö and surrounding islands open up their studios or homes. I shared my gallery for the weekend with a very talented glass artist but we hardly had time to see each other, on the Saturday we had a few hundred visitors! The weather on Friday when we set up was abysmal with torrential rain storms but the rest of the weekend was lovely. We sold lots of cakes and home made preserves and photographs on top of that. Then a couple of weeks later an exhibition with two photographers from another part of Sweden. They both do analog photography and a lot of the same techniques that I use. Great photographs and a lovely weekend! My husband smoked salmon and baked sourdough bread, I think I’m addicted to smoked salmon now, and we sold out most of the cakes on the second day. We were very generous with the opening times and I thought we would have to take turns or read books but the weekend past very quickly. On the last day it was more quiet and I took the opportunity to photograph my fellow photographers. Always nerve wrecking to photograph photographers but I hope I passed the test.

wet plate, sweden, analog, photography, tin-type

Christer and Sibylla Törnkvist

Finally!!

IMAG2620 IMAG2604 IMAG2602 IMAG2593 IMAG2591 IMAG2582 IMAG2566 IMAG2565 IMAG2559 IMAG2554 IMAG2553This weekend we had the big Artwave at Hönö and the surrounding islands. Close to a hundred artists open up their studios or homes to the public. After more than two years of extreme labour I finally I got to use the whole barn for my pictures! Such a fantastic weekend. My husband smoked salmon, baked tonnes of sourdough loaves, banana toffee cakes and lemon poppyseed cakes and our daughter sold almost all of it the first day. I would estimate about 200 people came over the weekend. It’s been so stressful getting everything together and finishing the barn but definitely worth it. In the end of the day I was overwhelmed with all the positiv respons, everyone loved the gallery! A lot of islanders also thought it was great to have more culture and happenings and they all said they are looking forward to future events in the barn. Now I will sleep for a week and then get carry on planning the real premiere opening…

Let there be light!

first spotlight up!

first spotlight up!

Woke up five this morning thinking about the lights in the barn. I just started doubting everything the last couple of days. Did I buy the wrong lights? Are they strong enough? Is it going to look rubbish? etc etc. This always happens when a large exhibition is coming up, I double think everything and leave it until the last minute when I get into the flow. At 7am I decided that I would have to work with what I’d bought and soon enough I got some of them up and working. What a relief! It looks great when they are on and I don’t think the track lights are the first thing people will see when there are pictures on the walls. I drilled holes in a piece of wood and attached the imported lamps that I bought(you can see them here) in the ceiling. I love the light they add, very warm and cosy. For more inspiration the whole family went to an exhibition down the harbour. We actually went to the opening last night but there were so many people that you could hardly see the art! There are these couple of artists, who are also building their own gallery who don’t live on the island but seem to spend most of their time here. They make the most amazing paintings and sculptures, truly unique. When I get rich and famous I will order a copy of our house and barn. The exhibition took place in a carpenters studio, a guy who specialises in boatbuilding and woodwork. A very talented musician showed his talents in drawing funny characters and entertained on the guitar (find him on slide guitar on youtube)with his daughter on vocals. Another daughter sold self designed and handmade jewellery(a very talented family!). So much inspiration, I think I’m over the self doubting part now, time to move on and get stuff done!

Torbjörn and Lovisa Sörensson

Torbjörn and Lovisa Sörensson

Torbjörn drawings

Torbjörn drawings

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg

Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg