Wow I realise I haven’t posted anything since Easter…which is a good sign I think!
This summer has been awesome, kept the gallery open every weekend and was totally taken by all the visitors I had. Both tourists and islanders found their way to the gallery and I sold out of jams, homemade cordial, fika(Swedish word for cakes and coffee) every weekend. My husband tried out making pizza and it was such a success we carried out the rest of summer and the last day sold out in one hour!
Not only work though, we had time for swimming, buying kayaks and enjoying summer.
The last few weeks everything has centred around getting my Christmas market ready. This year I tried staying open for two weekends but sadly the weather wasn’t on my side. Rainy and windy, not many people dared to venture out to the island. Although, we still had a great time!
My theme this time was a different xmas market and I think that’s definitely what we had… First weekend I invited a tattoo artist, I got my first tattoo ever and the oldest customer also had her first one, she’s 78. I sold my analog photographs and invited a local to sell his fantastic lamps made out of old cameras. On top of that of course we had homemade cakes for sale and my husbands spicy Indian Daahl soup with freshly baked sourdough bread. We sold out of Nam Prik Phao(Thai chili marmalade) and xmas mustard. I made one quite spicy but the favourite was sweet, full of flavour, a bit of brandy and sooo nice!
The second weekend I invited a band to play, my son and students from his music school, to play acoustic xmas songs, it was so perfect in the barn. They were great!
Yesterday we got a Christmas tree from the harbour. My husband stood guard outside while I made space for the tree in our living room, apparently some kids started the big traditional hunt already(which is really not fare and totally against the rules) and someone got their tree stolen from their garden day after they bought it. If you are interested in what the Big hunt is all about check this link out: The big hunt is on! or read more about it at Easter!
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…
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!
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!
Photo by Sibylla Törnkvist
Palladium print by Christer Törnkvist
Exhibition at the library, part of The art wave
Home smoked salmon and hubby bread
Glass by Rosita Ståhl
Preserves, postcards and photos by me
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.
Christer and Sibylla Törnkvist
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
Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg
Ann and Jonas Z Utterberg
some of my favourites
Paintings by Ia Green
I paid a visit to Hönö konsthall, the art gallery on the island. They have the most beautiful paintings but also a fantastic garden. The gallery is also built in an old barn but since I’m doing everything myself on a non-existing budget I don’t expect it to look the same. Also it will probably take ten years longer, at least. They have also now added a greenhouse in the garden. Mainly built out of wood that people have thrown away, it looks great. I want one! I really liked the cemented flower bed and they had added heating to make it warm and cosy already. There are 7 hens of various breeds. I brought some of our eggs and comparing to their eggs ours are miniatures! It’s always nice to go see other galleries, hen-owners or just about any people with the same interests to get some new inspiration.
that’s it, I’m building one
great idea with the cemented flowerbed!