Saturday, August 20, 2016

Reflections in Pink

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2016-07-20 flamingoes

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Flamingoes at the zoo. The kind we have at our zoo here in Borås is the African Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus. From the zoo’s website I learn that flamingoes get rather old compared to most birds – while in the wild it is common for them to live at least 30 years, in a zoo they can live to be 80. The oldest one at our zoo is over 40 years old. The grey one I understand to be a young one, though - not yet having attained the pink colour.

Weekend Reflections 

Pink Saturday

Friday, August 19, 2016

Skywatch Friday – Lookout

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On our way back to town after our day out in the countryside the other week (visiting an old mill and a wood sculpture museum), we also made a short detour to a lookout spot high up on the hills west/north-west of Borås, from where you get quite a good view over the city. Unfortunately it suddenly started raining just after we got there; but at least I managed to snatch these two views before we had to leave (rather in a hurry!).

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It’s not all easy to find one’s bearings straight away, looking out over the whole city from an unfamiliar perspective; but the new ‘skyscraper’ built a couple of years ago does stand out as a landmark (so far the tallest building in town, even if competition is being planned). I see the top of that tower from where I live as well – which is somewhere to the right of this photo, out of view!

Sharing with Skywatch Friday

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Old, New and In Between

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Flower-covered railing on one of the bridges in central Borås.
The figure in the foreground is not a sculpture, but one of several similar new concrete barriers around town meant to prevent car traffic in pedestrian places. These are roughly cast in the shape of a classic symbol of our town – the peddler. (Borås was founded as a market place back in the 1600’s, and still an important city of commerce.)

There is also an older, proper sculpture of a peddler in one of the main shopping streets:

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This statue was made by Arvid Knöppel (1892-1970, best known as one of Sweden’s great animal portrayers); but it has been included in this year’s sculpture biennale brochure together with a few other “oldies”.

“Arvid Knöppel’s Knallen (The Peddler) is a monument and tribute to the little man. For 400 years, peddlers wandered around Sweden selling crafts, textiles, woodwork and metalwork.”

Linking to Good Fences

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Uno’s Wooden Animals

After our lunch at the Old Mill last Sunday, we also went to visit another very special museum (Unos Djur / Uno’s Animals) out in the countryside (village called Bredared); showing the works of a local wood carving artist, Uno Axelsson (1922-2002).

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On the TV screen, they show a documentary where the (very humble) artist himself talks about his work.

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Uno was a farmer and did not take up wood carving as a hobby until he was in his 50’s; but after having retired from farming, he continued to make more and more advanced sculptures. From 1975 until 2002 when he passed away, he created approximately 250 sculptures. He never sold any of his works. Some were given as presents to family and friends, but the rest he collected in the barn at his farm. Rumor spread, and people found their way there to look and admire.

After his death, his works were all donated to the local history society. They arranged a permanent museum in a separate building near the old village hall, where these fantastic animal sculptures are now being shown. In the humble spirit of the creator, they are still keeping things simple. The place is only kept open to the public a couple of days a week in the summer season, and the rest of the time they only take group bookings.

My brother and I visited the place once before, back in 2010. Our aunt and uncle had never been to see it, though; and we were of course happy to revisit the place with them. (Lucky for us, Sunday is one of the days they’re open!)

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When Uno first started doing his artistic woodwork, it was primarily bowls, following the natural shape of odd-looking pieces of wood; then he began to carve animal heads on the edges of bowls; and from there went on to do bigger sculptures.

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(This snail is HUGE – compare the 3rd photo from the top.)

Uno’s art was often made from nodules obstinately growing against the grain. Large knots and gnarly trunks are typical pieces that inspired his fantasy. Most of his sculptures were made out of one single piece of wood.

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Except for the horns, the cow (more or less natural size), was carved out of one huge piece of oak – which is a very heavy kind of wood. After he had finished the shape of it, he hollowed out the inside to make the sculpture somewhat lighter.

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This sow with piglets is natural size too.

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The eyes on the sculptures are not glass but were painted with water colours and lacquered to be made shiny and life-like.

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▲The entrance to the village hall,
and a small outbuilding nearby.▼

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And an old cart filled with flowers to welcome visitors.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Old Mill – Vänga Kvarn

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The place where my brother and I had arranged to meet with our aunt and uncle last Sunday was an old countryside mill (at a village called Vänga). It has been preserved partly as a museum, and partly as a café – very popular in the summer. (They’re open six days a week in the tourist season, and weekends in autumn and spring.) They also have a little shop where they still sell locally produced flour (and a few other things).

I have blogged about the place before at least once, a few years ago. (We were in better luck with the weather this time!)
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The wooden sign says Welcome.

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We had lunch indoors up in the loft this time.
(Photo deliberately blurred, using a focus zoom filter in Picasa.)

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And then we went for a little stroll outdoors around the premises.

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The store has an old-fashioned interior too, of course.

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Sweet temptations on display outside.
(No, I did not buy any!)

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“We sell kerosene.” (Hm. Once upon a time, maybe…)

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(Trolls like this place too.)

. . .

I’ll be linking to:
Through My Lens
Ruby Tuesday Too
Our World Tuesday 

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