Sometimes we should just stop and let joy and wonder take
over. Those of us who work so hard and think( and write) so much
about how the relationship between people and their natural/human
heritage works need sometimes just to feel it. Yesterday I did
Yesterday reminded me that there is in the heart of what we
do, at least for the right people at the right time, potential for
magic and an alchemy that feels like pure love. I set out in search
of Swedish artists – about whom I was impressively ignorant – and
for five interpretation pointers* I could write about (see
yesterday’s post). On the previous day we had seen international
art, today we wanted more focus.
We decided to start at the Thiel
Galley, an Arts and Crafts house (we have a rather soft spot for
them too) which we knew had a private collection of mainly Swedish
paintings (plus several by Munch) from the turn of the 19/20
centuries. It was a beautiful bus ride through the parkland of
Djurgarden, the greenest of the Stockholm islands. We felt happy
that we were doing ‘our thing’, seeking out the places that really
appealed to us. The first two days was for the ‘must sees’, this
was for serendipity, discovery and relaxation.
RWe had a lovely
lunch in a simple elegant room (that’s Arts and Crafts for you) and
set off to see the’Stockholm Now exhibition’ which hung
contemporary fashion photography alongside paintings from the core
collection. It sounded rather unpromising I thought and decided to
ignore the photographs. In fact it was a brilliant concept,
fantastically executed that made us appreciate again the art and
skill of curating and hanging an exhibition.
By this time we were
quite excited. We had passed the postcard rack in the way to the
admissions desk and had spotted a couple of Bruno Liljefors. An art
historian friend had introduced us to the work of this wildlife
artist who is almost unknown ( except to wildlife artists) in the
UK. (Our friend’s dream is to arrange an exhibits of his work – I
hope she succeeds.) we had loved it but apart from three or four
paintings had only seen reproductions. We had forgotten Liljefors
We rushed off to see the paintings in this exhibition.
They were stunning. We stared at them for ages. We lost ourselves
in the light on the water, the ducks coming out of the dark, the
eagles, the eiders, the colours, the brushwork. The vision.
Reproductions are only whispers and echoes. The real thing has the
power of goshawks killing grouse, morning in the forest, moonlit
We went back to the entrance desk and talked to the
clearly knowledgable woman on the desk about our excitement and
Liljefors. We asked where we could see more. As per usual she told
us we had just missed a major exhibition – but that the Prins
Eugens Waldermarsudde a half hour walk away had an exhibition of
Liljefors in combination with contemporary Swedish wildlife
photography. So off we went.
On the way the heavens opened. By the
time we arrived at the galley we were soaked to skin. Happily they
let us in. there were four rooms of Liljefors painting. We were
transported. (The wildlife photography was wonderful too.)
end of the day someone tweeted ‘you can’t create inspiration, you
can only woo it.’ Yesterday inspiration wooed us. *There are not
five pointers today. Just one big five times over.