It was with great joy that Holger and I saw so many people coming to the finissage of our exhibition at Martas Café. A lot of people were already there, studying or having fika, and soon enough it was hard to tell who was there before and who came on purpose for the finissage. Still, they were welcomed into the crowd, just as we had wanted.Holger put up a few more originals on the wall, even though it was supposed to be the last day. Turned out that the girl who was going to exhibit after us didn’t have her paintings ready yet, so we decided to keep our stuff a week longer. Our finissage turned middlessage – if such a thing exists.There were drinks and snacks all around (including Suzanne’s delicious pesto crackers), topped of with twenty-something pastéis de nata Patrícia and me had brought from Lisboa (all gone in the picture in little under a quarter of an hour – great success!), the party hung on for as long as the Café was open.Many many thanks go to the Café’s staff who were extremely helpful and part-time curators of the exhibition: Marta, Olga and all the good people working there!
On the 5th of may, the public edibles initiative Fruktsam held its first public presentation, starting off with some delicious hand-prepared jams and pestos made with hand-picked fruits in and around Lund and continuing with a presentation by one of its founders – Teresa Rauscher. She explained the fundamentals of the initiative – a project that encompasses locating, picking and preparing public edibles such as fruits, herbs and nuts. For that, they provide different tools and data, such as a harvest calender, a harvest map, a fruit-picker and many more stuff. They also hold study circles to discuss and share information about fruit and stuff.
Representing the city of Lund was Karl-Oscar Seth, who explained how the Kommun deals with public edibles nowadays and how can Fruktsam cooperate in the effective management of these precious (and widely undiscovered) resources in a win-win-win outcome (Fruktsam wins, the Kommun wins, the community wins, yay!).
Kim Nicholas finished with a scholarly look at the issue, presenting her own research on urban food forestry, and how can such initiatives as Fruktsam, help to bridge urban ecosystems and food production, taking advantage of already existing urban food-producing areas, creating tools and infrastructures to aid the planting, the mapping and the harvesting of public food.
About a year after our first visit to Göteborg and to our favourite persian family, we were back again, and again for just one weekend.
Persians host people like the portuguese do: welcoming booze, loads of food and that warm familiar feeling of organized chaos.
Our persian/swedish/portuguese guide and friend took us to an iranian pastry shop, but it had little to do with Iran these days, except maybe for the staff. It was gleaming with those rich coloured pastry that Sweden has gotten us used to. Lots of berries, lots of sugar, lots of cream, yumminess in a slice.
Gothemburgians, like most swedes, lie under the sun as much as they possibly can. Here, they do it in the sloped shores of the canal, in a park where the city walls once stood, with warm coffee, food and drinks.
The sunny sunday took us to the house of a couple in the family in Lerums Kommun. Alsjö lake lies just by it. There, the neighbourhood is organized around the lake instead of a network of roads. The neighbours must agree on any construction or action that might compromise the neatness and the health of the lake. It’s the commons, an old kind of appropriation that still has a lot of significance around these parts. After a delicious bolognese we were on our way back to the south.
A surprise knocked upon our door: a comic book festival was happening in Stadsbiblioteket in the first weekend of our exhibition. So, just a few meters away from where we’re sketching and showing up our stuff – and in the same building – conferences about comic books were being held, a fanzine market was bustling with activity, battles between comic authors were raging! Such a happy coincidence!
The fanzine market was female-dominated. I guess the comic book guy archetype is quickly fading out. There was also a lot of manga-inspired comics, and quite a lot of comic porn! One group in particular drew my attention: Think Ink – a band of five girls who get together to make comic books. I bought one of their fanzines called The Art of Fika, a compilation of stories that revolve around fika – the legendary swedish habit of sitting down with, friends, coffee or tea and stuffing your face with yummy pastry. It seemed such a cool concept to draw stories around such a simple theme. And the artwork is pretty amazing!
On saturday a battle took place between four comic book authors. Energized by music, the artists would do a sketch based on a theme chosen by the audience. The themes that the authors had to negotiate with – fantasy, fishing and (my favourite) alcohol and dystopia – were fertile ground for the artists to harvest some pretty cool drawings in the five minutes they had. The fun bit was that they could also interfere with each other drawings.
On sunday, Holger – who is a skilled networker – had some conversations with the fanzine girls. He even got his manga portrait done in a sketching duel with one of them. Watching over was another girl, a shy teenager, with an impressive talent, who confessed her dreams of becoming an illustrator.
There is a lot of chores and planning in putting together an exhibition, even such a small one as this one. So, with all the improvising and all the late-coming ideas, this has been more of a active laboratory than a passive exhibition for Holger and me.
We decided to commit to a few days where we would be present at the exhibition. This would give us a chance to talk to people, witness their interest, even probe for candidates for future sketching partners. Since the exhibition is behaving like an analog blog – new sketches and paintings keep appearing day after day – we decided to call these dates “artist online” dates.
Martas Café is located in Lund’s city public library. Going there almost every day, I realized that it is the office of a lot of people. Faces begin to look familiar. Tastes too – all the delicious pastry is baked here by Marta. And it’s finger lickin’ good!