September 11, 2010 in SWEDEN | Comments (18)


”LJUSSTRÅK” ART TRAIL (art along a ray of light)

Please click for larger images

It’s the first week of September – and its Ljustråk, a kind of festival of art and culture in the quiet little town of Nora and surrounding villages. It is the tenth anniversary of its launch in 2001. This time there are over 90 artists exhibiting in an art trail that starts in the converted brewery and guides you to private exhibitions all over Nora and its surroundings – in homes, gardens and studios. And there are some 20 cultural events including church concerts in Nora and other villages.

Nora is a jewel in the rural art and culture belt of Sweden – and that so many artists (and art enthusiasts) live here seems quite a jump from its origins as a centre of the independent iron mining industry.

Iron mining dates back to the middle ages among the rolling forested hills of Bergslagen, with foundry mills driven by its many rushing streams and wood for burning. In the 1600s King Gustav Wasa gave the independent miners the right to sell iron ore in Nora.

Nora’s charm and beauty owes as much to the rise of the iron industry as to its fall. After two prosperous centuries Nora had many beautiful wooden buildings and a grand church. The decline of the industry at the end of the 1800s held back the rush of modern development. So Nora still has most of the centuries-old buildings, cobbled streets and picturesque town square where the iron miners have a monument.

Nestled among green hills by a silken lake, Nora’s wooden buildings are painted in a rainbow of earthy colours from terracotta and sienna to green and mustard yellow, with a typical three-colour scheme for each house. Its quiet pace and beauty is probably what attracts and inspires artists.

Picture taken earlier for my post on Lilla Hotellet

The pace rises to a pleasant excitement some 10 or so times a year, when the town holds special events including music festivals, antique market (in July), and Ljustråk, always held in the first weekend in September.

Sometimes Ljustråk days glimmer in damp misty air. Or it rains. But today is mellow golden sunshine, spread out over the town and though the day as if it never thought of abandoning us.

Our trail starts in the old brewery where each of the 90 artists has one painting displayed. There are several other exhibitions. For 4 year old Frejda the undoubted height of the exhibition was the metal works display. There stood a magnificent dragon with long greedy hands clawing for golden necklaces. In the gloom he stood quiet but several times a minute with a roar he spurted flames from his metal mouth. The artists (add to that inventors) watched with pleasure as little Frejda stared  and asked for safety sake: But he is not real is he?

Another popular section of the exhibition in the old brewery was devoted to glass objet d’art  – sculptures and vases and that seemed to magically encapsulate 3-D artwork (or art in glass). Some vases seemed to swell and swirl like bubbles (Studilglas Elna Jolom). One of the more unusual exhibits was “Skoga-stugan”. This showed clippings about Dagmar Lange alias Maria Lang the crime writer who set so many murders in Skoga (Nora), and Magdalena Persson (the guide of Nora’s sought-after murder walks in the footsteps of Maria Lang) was to be present.

With the neat little catalogue on hand one then heads off to individual exhibitions.

The oldest artist was Thérèse Stanbridge, 88, entered in the catalogue as Theresa. She was written up in the local paper since she is not only oldest artist exhibiting but has an exotic background – moving to Sweden after a life devoted to art in South Africa.  

Her exhibition was held in the corridor of her cerise-painted block of flats, opening out into a courtyard garden full of flowers and sunshine, with view of the Nora church tower. Very Nora-ish. A steady flow of art hunters walking the art trail came in to look over or even buy her paintings, and were offered tea and coffee as well as cheese straws baked by the 88-year-old artist. Some haphazard snapshots of her paintings follow.

Moving closer to my second home at Ramshyttan, we visited the exhibits of Lena Hellström, Kerstin Wagner and Caterina Mårtensson. Lena, who has a studio in Ramshyttan in the grounds of her former home, is one of the inspirations for the circles of art and culture in Bergslagen.   I was transfixed by her shimmering birches – very tempted to buy. There were several of her birch works – “a world of birches” whispering of secrets in elfin land.

To Lena art is as much to be found in paint or sculpture as in household objects or décor. She has devoted many years to studying, writing about and furthering the old art forms – and painted her home in gallantly expertly home-made egg tempura.

Here in her Provençal rural Swedish kitchen, Lena has a hat rack painted her own creation “rural red”.

The next event in the Nora calendar is half marathon around Nora lake on the 11th and the old-fashioned Christmas market in December 4-5, 2010. Järnboås culture days are 25 to 31 October.

18 Responses to “ART IN THE SWEDISH HILLS”

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

  1. Comment by Arlie ShellenbergerAugust 7, 2020 at 11:46 am  

    I just want to mention I am just newbie to weblog and certainly liked your web-site. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You actually have wonderful article content. Bless you for sharing your blog site.

  2. Comment by HelloJuly 25, 2020 at 12:03 am  

    Muchos Gracias for your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

  3. Comment by Leandra BattiestJuly 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm  

    I just want to tell you that I’m new to blogs and actually liked your web blog. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You amazingly have good stories. Appreciate it for sharing with us your web-site.

  4. Comment by Eladia WerbelowJuly 5, 2020 at 6:49 am  

    I simply want to say I am just very new to blogging and really savored this web-site. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog . You surely come with fantastic writings. Thanks a lot for revealing your web site.

  5. Comment by SMSJune 14, 2020 at 9:11 am  

    Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  6. Comment by เบอร์มงคลJune 13, 2020 at 2:17 am  

    I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

  7. Comment by ทิชชู่เปียกแอลกอฮอล์June 13, 2020 at 2:14 am  

    These are actually great ideas in concerning blogging.

  8. Comment by ปั้มไลค์June 13, 2020 at 2:13 am  

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  9. Comment by Singapore Mortgage LoanMay 29, 2020 at 3:55 am  

    Thank you ever so for you article post. Much obliged.

  10. Comment by holdoverJune 27, 2012 at 4:30 am  

    Superb web site! That i definitely really like exactly how it is quick in this sight plus the information will be well crafted. My business is thinking generate income may be acquainted if a brand new post has been made. We’ve bought on your rss which in turn will need to do just as well! Possess a wonderful day!

  11. Comment by JohnnyJune 19, 2012 at 12:07 am  

    Hi. Do you have facebook? I want to get to know you more. you possess an amazing style of writing.

  12. Comment by Cordless drillsApril 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm  

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  13. Comment by Amber Lancaster InterviewMarch 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm  

    According to my research, after a the foreclosure home is bought at an auction, it is common for that borrower to still have any remaining balance on the bank loan. There are many financial institutions who attempt to have all expenses and liens cleared by the next buyer. Nonetheless, depending on particular programs, polices, and state legal guidelines there may be several loans which aren’t easily handled through the exchange of loans. Therefore, the obligation still lies on the consumer that has acquired his or her property foreclosed on. Thank you sharing your thinking on this weblog.

  14. Comment by review of the diet solution programMarch 27, 2012 at 5:20 am  

    certainly like your web site but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will definitely come back again.

  15. Comment by costamjestNovember 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm  

    I don’t know how you did it, but you have hit the nail on the head in this article. I agree completely on many of the facts you have presented in this content. Thank you.

  16. Comment by LundJanuary 28, 2011 at 9:32 am  

    If you want to stay at a nice hotel in Lund Sweden then I can recommend Lilla Hotellet, or the little hotel.

  17. Comment by Gill — October 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm  

    Read online on SJ after an hour of technical hassles – on the way to Örebro – then Nora by bus 302

Leave a Reply

Better Tag Cloud