Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Grin Without A Cat


“Well, I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, thought Alice; but a grin without a cat! It is the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865)

I suspect that even most people who never read the book are still more or less familiar with this quote. What you may not yet know, though, is that A Cat Without A Grin is also the title of the 2018 International Sculpture Biennial in Borås, Sweden. (But now you know!)

The brochure tells me that the theme was chosen “because of its relation to the surreal, and the interest in nonsense”.

Hmm… In other words: an excuse to mix and display a number of odd art exhibits without taking any responsibility for them to make sense… ; )

The exhibition was opened at the end of May, but it wasn’t until Thursday this week that I found a good opportunity for myself to go and visit the Art Museum, where most of the contributions are displayed this year. Some new or borrowed sculptures are also to be found here and there in the city centre – and some old ones have been temporarily moved to other locations. I made no attempt on this occasion to try and find them all – after all, I have all summer to go looking for them :)

However, walking through the Town Park on my way to the art museum, I happened to notice this new addition to the sculptures there:


It is named Stub or Yggdrasil and is here on loan from another town in the area, for the biennial. The name of the artist is David Myrvold. Yggdrasil is the name of a holy tree (ash tree) in Old Norse mythology – kind of representing the centre of the world, with its branches extending far up into the heavens, and its roots far into the underground. Various kinds of creatures live in or by this tree, and it is also connected to the main god Odin sacrificing himself there. What Myrvold wants to say by showing it as only a stub, I don’t know. But there is a glow within it (from LED lights, I suppose) to suggest there is life in it still… I think the spot to display the sculpture in the park has been well chosen, as it has been “planted” close to two older stone sculptures that also remind of ancient times and unknown mysteries (reminding of old stone monuments like Stonehenge and similar).

2018-06-14 stone sculptures

Along my way uphill to the art museum from the city centre, I also came across this piece:

2018-06-14 minaret

This made absolutely no sense to me until I got back home and read the brochure I picked up at the museum. Quoting what the brochure says about the artist, Iman Issa: “Issa takes inspiration from historical works of art and objects and the way they are displayed in contemporary museological context. By creating new and minimalist sculptures with a resemblance to the original artefact and pairing them up with texts describing the object that inspired the new work, new interpretations arise. The presentation mode challenges our memory, our values and the importance we ascribe to language in this context.” (You may have to read that quote more than once – at least I did!)

There were also some photographs by the same artist on display at the museum, pretty much on the same kind of two-faced theme. I took some of them to be paintings, but the brochure says photographs.  I’ll have to go back for a closer look, I think. (There is no entrance fee for this exhibition so I can go as many times as I like.) I only snapped a photo of one that appealed to me because I like the objects as such (books, pens, papers…):


Iman Issa: “Replica For Illustration”, 2018 (C-print)

The biggest work of art on display indoors at the museum was this one:


▲ Seen from the ground floor.
▼ Looking down on it from the floor/balcony above.


La dépossission - Artist: Latifa Echakhch
A collapsed theatre backdrop  painted like the sky.
(”The sky is literally falling down on us”, the brochure says…)

My favourites exhibited at the museum were probably these two, though – playing with light and shadows, and kind of relating to that Yggdrasil stub in the park.


2018-06-14 A Grin Without a Cat3

(I don’t find these in the brochure so don’t have the names of the artists)

There were also quite a few works of art in the exhibition that on this occasion did not “speak” to me at all… Remains to be seen if they will if I go back again!

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, June 15, 2018

Weekend Postcards – Clocks / Time Tellers

Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic

Astronomical clock, Prague, Czech Republic
Postcard sent by Ginny from the US, June 2018

When this card arrived (this week), it seemed oddly familiar to me… Flickering through the postcrossing cards received over the past few months, I found that I had actually received another image of the exact same clock back in April (not previously shown on this blog, I think):

180419 CZ-1577539

Postcrossing card sent from the Czech Republic,
April 2018

The sender adds the following info on the back:
”This clock is on Prague Town Hall. It is 608 years old. At the top of the clock there are two windows with figures walking around. On the left and right are Misery, Vanity, Lust and Death.”

On the same day as Ginny’s card, I also received this time-related card from John in England:

Chester's Town Criers

“Chester’s Town Criers – David & Julie Mitchell, the world’s first husband and wife Town Criers.”
Postcard sent from Chester, June 2018

In the past, when most people could not read or write, town criers were the means of proclaiming all kinds of news to the people of the town. And in some places, evidently, they are still keeping up the tradition!

Also this week, yet another time-telling card found its way through my letter-slot:

180612 PL-1481254

Postcrossing card from Poland, showing a timepiece from the History Museum in Kraków.

I don’t know Polish, but with the help of Google Translate I managed to decipher some of the printed text on the back of the card. It seems to say that this is mantel clock with a Cupid figurine, French, made of bronze, and from the end of the 19th century.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Weekend Postcards – Flowers

As followers of Maria’s blog already know, she has had to discontinue her ‘Postcards for the Weekend’ linkup for now. However, I’m thinking that I might continue for a while to share some of my incoming postcards anyway, here on my own blog. (I’m not setting up a linkup, but if others among my readers are doing the same, you can mention it in a comment below if you like.)

This past week I received two postcards with lovely flower arrangements on them:

180527-180604 from Maria (Japan)

This one was sent to me by Maria; posted in Japan.

GHz 180607

And this one came from Ginny in the US

I wish them both good health, and…

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more
and nothing but happiness come through your door.”
(Irish blessing)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Skywatch Friday


Sunset skywatch from my balcony

SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, June 7, 2018

6th June – National Day Celebrations

6th June is the National Day of Sweden, also known as Swedish Flag Day. The Flag Day has been celebrated for about a hundred years, but it wasn’t raised to the status of a national holiday until fairly recently (2005). Historic events related to this day go back to 1523, when Gustav Vasa was elected king of Sweden. In 1809, an important change of constitutional laws was also introduced on this date (something to do with the balance of power between King and Riksdag/Parliament).

Anyway, the public celebrations of the day seem to be growing. Here they include a special ceremony to welcome new citizens (inhabitants of our city who have been granted Swedish citizenship over the past year), and also a performance by the home guard music corps. When I arrived at the park around 3 p.m. it was absolutely crowded, I think probably the most people I’ve ever seen gathered there. It was hard even to find anywhere on the outskirts from where I could take photos showing the crowd! ; )







Against the odds I happened to meet a friend and together we joined the queue to the ice cream bar, and even more miraculously managed to find two free chairs in half-shadow outside that place when we came out. So we sat comforably for for a while and ate our ice cream, had a bit of a catch-up chat and listened to the music from a little distance.

In the evening, on TV at home, I watched some of the celebrations held in Stockholm, including the presence of the royal family.


Photo from my TV screen: The royal family outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm
The Queen and the princesses are wearing the official national costume ‘Sverigedräkten’
From left to right:
Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel
Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip
Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O’Neill

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