Graffiti Mariestad turned a silo to the world’s biggest graffiti work of art in 2010. This small and friendly city in Sweden called “Pearl of Lake Vänern”, showed its artistic creativeness this summer. I mean Graffiti often has a reputation as part of a subculture that rebels against authority or society. This however, is a fascinating story about a visionary group in Mariestad’s municipality who wanted to prove their creative capabilities. So during this summer they painted an entire silo and together create a spectacular and colourful work of art. The idea was to turn a building most people would rather see gone – into an interesting art project. This silo is positioned in the towns cosy, small boat harbour and really doesn’t fit in there:
The Silo to the right.
So the idea came up to try to turn it into something nice. The project started in May and since Mariestad is where we have our vacation home, we had plenty of time during the summer to see the work of art growing (click small pics to bigify & enjoy):
Quite a contrast: The Church and modern art of Graffiti!
Even more interesting when getting closer:
The artist Carolina Falkholt started the project and in cooperation with Mariestad’s residents, visitors and artists from all over the world they created a vibrant and colourful artwork. Everyone from small children to the older generation, politicians and municipal officials, entrepreneurs and even people who often are considered “outside” society has been involved:
Mrs. Falkholt (her FanPage at Facebook) creates graffiti art in different parts of the world: e.g. Calvin Klein has used her art in their marketing and Eminem hired her to create graffiti works in conjunction with a CD release. Now she and many others have transformed this gigantic silo in Mariestad port to a colourful supernova of fantastic art (on the silo and even on the street):
Graffiti Mariestad (click for their HomePage) has lasted all summer and culminated in the grand event Speed Art & Design in September. During winter, the silo will be demolished and the masses that remain after the demolition will be the basis for a new nautical city to be built in Mariestad. So stay tuned as I will of course post about this radical transformation; from an ugly silo, through graffiti art and then to a new part of town.
So what do you think of this newer art form? Do the colours inspire you, do you see the talent in their work or does it just look like chaos to your eyes? Leave your thoughts in comments:
Travelling to Oslo, Norway or any other cities worldwide requires planning to get the most out of it. Some go to libraries or shops for guide books – I love to do it on the net. Browsing around and picking up ideas for attractions, museums, entertainment, restaurants and hotels is great fun. Collecting and saving them for your own guide requires a more systematic approach – but it’s worth it. Sometimes, depending on your destination, you are lucky to find a portal with almost all info and ideas you need on one site, like VisitNorway for the whole country or VisitOSLO for a specific city.
A while ago, a good blog friend of mine, Mihaela Lica at Pamil Visions made me aware of Stay.com (actually a Norwegian startup!) where you create a guide crafted to your personal needs, tastes and destinations. Best of all it can be consulted on your computer or smart phone, or printed out as a pocket-sized pdf-file if you prefer. You may also broadcast the itinerary or parts of it to friends via Facebook and Twitter. Each guide that gets created adds to the library of itineraries available to other users and by that builds up a vault of good ideas for a good time wherever you go in the world.
My connections via my account at TripIt are automatically broadcast on Facebook, so most already know that my wife DianeCA and I are going to Lisbon in November. We will meet up with our blog friends, Helena and her husband (to the right in the picture) who participated in the Oslo Blog Gathering in August. They are preparing and planning a lot for us already, but it was still exciting to check out Stay.com for ideas of what to explore in the capital of Portugal. Planning ahead is half the fun you know
How about you; how do you prepare and plan for a trip? Share your trip planning ideas here in comments, and maybe check out Stay.com for yourself.
Autumn has arrived with its characteristic blasts of colour over most of Norway. The hills, forests and mountains are ablaze and waiting to welcome hikers, bikers and all who headed off on a photo hunt like DianeCA, my wife and I last weekend. You see thermometers have dipped below the freezing point at night in the Oslo area and the chill is bound to bring forth even more fall colours, as the greenery of summer gives way to the red and gold of autumn. My mind races to past family trips to see the changing of the colours in the woods, especially along lakes. Let me start with one pic from our trip last weekend to give up an idea:
On our way by car – just 15 min from home – deeper into the forests and up on the hill, we were met with this fairytale scenery of nature’s colours (click pics to bigify & enjoy):
The fall colour of the tree is spectacular, showing brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. This eye-catching occurrence is due to a chemical process that begins as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. At a village and its camping resort by Lake Tyrifjorden (Norway’s fifth largest lake with an area of 137 km2, 295 meters deep at its deepest, and lies 63 meters above sea level), we really got hold of the whole fall colour pallet:
During the spring and fall, the leaves use chlorophyll (which gives the green colouring) to capture energy from the sun. When water and carbon dioxide are added to the mix, the trees produce sugars and starch for food. As the temperature drops and the daylight diminishes, the trees stop their food-making process, which causes the chlorophyll to break down and the green pigments to be replaced with oranges and yellows (which were present in small quantities all along).
Enough facts – let’s enjoy the lake windowing this spectacular nature fall paintings:
Notice the Kayak below: is it possible to find anything more recreational?
Well, fishing for some is quite recreational too:
Let me end this colourful report with memories from my family’s weekend expeditions in the good old days. It would mean sweaters, picnic baskets and other gear to make the trip a success. My wife (click here to read her post from the same trip) has obviously had some of the same as this was what she served in these wonderful nature fairytale surroundings:
Coffee and sandwich ala Diane: Mayo, egg, tomato and mushrooms!
This is what I call a quality time with my wife, in the golden beauty of fall and a good proof of why I love the significant four seasons – to be experienced and explored in the nature; far away from the stressful, urban life – the best way to spend a Sunday and charge you’re batteries.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. From the committee’s announcement it’s written:”Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal and this status must entail increased responsibility. China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China’s constitution lies down that “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration”. In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China’s citizens”. The whole idea by awarding Xiaobo, is to take the opportunity to focus on that – I guess.
Since my blog is about Norway: our history, culture, traditions and habits, this important yearly event is of course to be mentioned. However, since this is political dynamite, I shall be careful with my personal view on pro et contra – In my blog’s theme, I’ll give you some facts and reaction from the press in Norway instead:
The Committee’s independence:
Some have the idea of The Norwegian Nobel Committee represent the official Norwegian Political authority – or in general the (whole) nation of people for that matter – It’s not so! In the beginning, the committee was filled with active parliamentarians, but ties were later weakened so that the committee became more independent. Now, active parliamentarians cannot sit on the committee, unless they have explicitly stated their intent to step down shortly. The committee have their own mandate and act as independents as the constitutional freedom of the press. (Photo: Andersen, Aleksander/Scanpix -> T. Jagland, the chairman of the committee with a picture of Xiaobo).
Comments and reactions from Norway:
Jonas G. Støre (Foreign Minister): “Liu Xiaobo has become a symbol of opposition to the Communist Party, which shows no signs of giving in to Western pressure to implement democratic reforms.
China has previously expressed a pressure against the Norwegian government and warned that Liu Xiaobo is awarded the Peace Prize. Minister stressed that the Nobel Committee is independent. There is no basis for China to take measures against Norway if they disagree with the price.”
Chinese in Norway: “We believe it is inappropriate. It creates more conflict between Norway and China, as Chinese officials have protested strongly against the deal” says Spokesman Ya Ming Yuen the Norwegian-Chinese Association. The statements came after both the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassy has protested against the controversial Nobel Peace Prize-decision.
- A peace prize is to create peace. If a price creates conflict, then it becomes a problem. Therefore, we believe the distribution is inappropriate, “said Ya.
A threat to trade between Norway and China:
It is not long since the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee was in China to establish a free trade agreement with the country. The theme for the meeting between the Minister for fisheries and aquaculture issues is the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, trade issues and resource management. Today, China is the eighth largest purchaser of Norwegian fish, and so far this year, exports of fish there for 1.5 billion.
Some believe this will have consequences for the relationship between Norway and China. There is no doubt about the leadership of the Communist Party feels humiliated and there will be a strong reaction, and they have a tradition of over-reacting. The question is how long the relationship between China and Norway will be harmed by the current allocation?
Is it worth the consequences?
Most likely, Liu Xiabos chair in the award ceremony at the City Hall December 10th, will be empty. Probably he will not be informed that he has won the award at all. Already now CNN’s broadcasts to China to be blocked (or was at the announcement this morning) – and his His wife sits in the practice of house arrest today.
There are plenty of other good candidates – also this year – for the peace prize. It would have been a lot more easy to award a less controversial candidate too – like last year. I am happy The Norwegian Nobel Committee make some unpopular decisions that at least set focus on delicate, political matters – small or big, local or global.
For those who want to stay neutral in comments on this; have you noticed the announcement of this award at all?
Cycling-Norway’s Thor Hushovd, nicknamed “The God of Thunder“, won the road world championship in Australia today; powered away on the final bunch uphill sprint to edge out Denmark’s Matti Breschel and Australian Allan Davis who came third.
Thor is one of the world’s top sprinters, having tasted green jersey success for the points classification at the Tour de France. He is also a one-day classics specialist known for his ability to climb and finish well on uphill sprints.
Today he waited until the final 150 meters of the 750-meter home straight before unleashing a powerful sprint (Foto: Brandon Malone, Reuters/Scanpix).
This years world championship was actually threatened to be overshadowed by news of positive doping tests in Europe, most notably recent revelation that three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol during this year’s Tour. Thor’s comment was: “It’s sad for cycling, but it’s good that anti-doping still works,”
Running a blog about Norway and the Nordic countries; our culture, tradition and history, I seldom write about sports. This is however a historical sports triumph (since first time!) for Cycling-Norway and a Danish came second as well you know (the best Swede Jonas Ljungblad, was # 27). My regular readers might recall that I also made a post when The God of Thunder won the green jersey for overall points classification on the Tour de France. It was in 2006 and you are welcome to click and read my enthusiasm at that time too