Artists in the Archipelago (AiA) delegation of ours toured eastern Skåne in Sweden for a couple of days, visiting their Konstrundan. Dating back to 1968 ÖSKG Konstrundan has grown to a nine-day event and draws tens of thousands of visitors every year. The concentration of artists and crafters in relatively small area is amazing although they represent quite a traditional set of methods and subjects. Newer artforms are missing, even photography and video seem to be too contemporary or perhaps just more difficult to sell. Mixed media and installation art are also mere curiosities in the pictoresque gardens.
Indeed, life seems overly happy under blossoming magnolias of Skåne. When the world around us is spinning downward in ecological and economical crisis, there is little of that visible in their art. Shouldn’t reflection of the world be integral part of art? Beauty and hope are absolutely necessary but we should not escape the reality. Not us, we who can make the invisible visible and document our time with so diverse voices.
But beauty we saw, some great humor as well, Sven-Åke Ekbergs amazing miniatures to name a favorite of mine (Kassa Balans, Cash Balance, pictured above). And the houses and gardens, tasteful, rustic and prosperous, just like in the magazines.
But just when we are about to announce in unison our intentions to move all here immediately and live happy ever after eating apples we gaze out to the open Baltic Sea and one thing stands out. There is no archipelago! Welcome to Finland we say.
Still, a word of appreciation, Thank you SkÃ¥ne for all the positive energy we got from you.