Thomas is a good sketching mate. He is patient and disciplined, which I am not. So, by a subtle sense of duty and companionship, he drives me from home (even when it’s freezing cold) with the challenge of street sketching.
Different things flow from the pens and pencils when such a companion puts you outside of the comfort zone. He usually sits exactly where I wouldn’t sit and sketches what I wouldn’t sketch, because I wouldn’t find it interesting or exciting enough. He does so, and so do I after spending a few moments in the tranquillity of everyday sights. The ability to permeate such sense and determination impresses me.
One of my favourite places in Lund is Ariman, a bar that goes back at least one generation. For the young people, it’s one of those places that has always been there, with reliable rock n’ roll and cold beer. For the elders, it’s a landmark and a meeting place for open discussion that goes back to the revolutionary 70s. It caters for both young and old, swedes and foreigners, in seemingly equal parts.
It has prime location both in commercial sense and in its exposure to the sun. When the vitamin D is pouring down upon the Earth, Ariman’s tables outside in the narrow walking street are the place to be.
In the eastern section of Lund lies a neighbourhood called Planetstaden. It’s pretty much a cul-de-sac with one street that loops around 45 houses on a few hectares of land. Still, those houses hold great interest, because they comprise a housing complex designed by Jørn Utzon, the famed danish architect who came to design Sydney Opera House just a few years later.
Utzon presented this model of houses in a Skåne competition and applied the same project to four distinct locations around the Öresund, both in Sweden and Denmark (Lund, Helsingør, Fredensborg and Bjuv). The houses are inspired by danish barns, a patio with house on two sides and walled on the other two, so that further construction in each patio does not affect the exterior design. But this construction might as well (and probably was) inspired by mediterranean or chinese or middle-eastern patio-houses. It’s such a successful concept that it’s difficult to find a culture that hasn’t absorbed it.
The low-pitched inward-facing roof brings to mind some coastal town houses of the Mediterranean Sea or even the ancient roman colonial villas. The wide windows are easily identified with nordic or maybe japanese architectures. That special yellow-coloured brick makes us think about the rammed earth buildings of Yemen or Mali. It is an international design, no doubt, but also very much local. It is a design that is simultaneously vernacular and modernist. And apart from a few outside air conditioning units, it still preserves its original unity.
Marie was a fanzine author who visited our stall when the Seriefest was at the library next door. We started talking about how she’d met Stockholm urban sketcher Nina Johansson before and was wondering if I had knew of her. Soon after, Holger took on the conversation with her, which left me free to portrait her. She had a really nice colour to her hair.
The last workshop was attended by Teresa – co-founder of local project Fruktsam – and Daniel. Both were really enthusiastic with the blind sketching exercises and in about one hour and four drawings later, their concentration was paying off. Results were showing and they were realizing that drawing has a lot to do with careful observing and that it is within reach. Thus was the mythical wall of talent cracked.
This was my blind portrait of them, while they concentrated on each other.