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Street Art Tour with Artscape Saga and GIBCA

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Hunting for Street Art is one of our biggest interests, so when Artscape and Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Arts, GIBCA announced on their Facebook pages that they were going to do four free bus tours together (even including lunch and snacks!) to get to know the Artscape Saga Project better, with pit stops for Art Exhibitions and Museum visits, that was, of course, a no-brainer! Unfourtanly, Spoons couldn't attend more than one, but what a wonderful opportunity to see all this beautiful Street Art and Art, and the tour was awesome!

Guest Blogger: Fredrik Goldhahn, Sticks & Spoons Food Travel

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Street Art by Captain Kris, New Zealand

Sticks & Spoons "Artscape Saga Tour" part two

This post is part of a series of articles and blog posts we have called "Artscape Saga Tour". You can read them individually one by one or as a book with chapters of our Street Art Hunts discovering the fantastic Street Art around Gothenburg with Street Art from the Artscape Saga Project. You'll find all parts in the Table of Content.

What is Artscape and the Artscape Saga Project?

Artscape is a nonprofit association that started in 2014 with a mission to make "Art Available for Everyone to see in Public Spaces and Cityscapes". Successful years of working toward making Street Art and Mural Paintings accepted in the public domains and appreciated by a wider audience followed, with Street Art Festivals and Street Art Projects in Malmö 2014 and 2015. In 2016 it was Gotheburg's turn to get an injection of colorful Street Art and Murals. The region Värmland was up next in 2017 with Artscape's most advanced and ambitious Street Art summit to date. The "White Moose Project" gathered 29 worldwide famous and local artists and resulted in 32 pieces of Street Art spread over 12 municipalities! 2019 Artscape took its work of spreading Art in the public space to the next level with no less than two large-scale Street Art Projects; Artscape Saga and Artscape Street Art Festival in Ljusdal. There's no surprise that Artscape in just five years has become one of the leading organizations in the world for urban and contemporary Art Projects - yet it's an impressive accomplishment!

Artscape Saga is a Street Art Project with inspiration sprung from Sagas, Folklore, Tales, and Myths from all over the World. The brilliance of 26 Street Art Artists created 32 Street Art pieces and wonderful murals during 3 weeks in 12 municipalities to Gothenburg in Sweden, making the project one of the largest urban contemporary art projects in the world.

Street Art in Partille

The first Mural of our Street Art Tour was "Mother Earth" by Mural Painter Mona Caron from Schweiz. It's an interpreted saga by Artscape made from several Mother Earth myths from different parts of the world, with a natural connection to the Saga Projects playfully and investigatory attitude that folk tales are evolving and ever-changing being told by generations. Artscape not only scouted walls to paint for this project; they also chose the sagas, tales, and folklore myths to be the inspiration for the artists. Consciously, they also chose the artist for each theme, often giving them a theme they weren't familiar with just to push the artist's imagination and inspiration for their art piece. But a lot of times, also the surrounding environment and especially the people, turned out to be a source of inspiration.

Detailed portraits on the Dandelions root

Mona Caron paints exclusively with a brush which made this masterpiece of a Mural take about two weeks to finish. During that time the residents became a daily element in the artist's work, coming and going, staying for a chat, or bringing food or coffee.  That inspired Mona to give the Wall Art an additional tribute to the residents of the house! We see them lifelike portrayed, marching with a banner saying "Growing Together", on the Dandelions root!

Mona Caron's Street Art and Mural Painting style otherwise almost exclusively includes flowers. A lot of flowers! Colorful weeds, flowers, and nature with an underlying message of action taking climate change seriously and the concern about our environment and future.  So her doing "Mother Nature" for the Artscape Saga Project was more than Natural! Find Mona Caron Street Art online: Mona Caron site, Mona Caron Instagram, and Mona Caron Facebook.

Largest Mural Painting in Scandinavia

Two houses from Mother Nature Mural in Partille you'll find Scandinavia's largest Mural and Street Art up to date; Revontulet by Australian Mural Artist Smug aka Sam Bates. The inspiration is the Finnish saga about how Aurora Borealis; or the Northern Lights, once were created. And actually, Revontulet is the Finnish word for the phenomena. This Mural is a perfect example where Artscape chose an Artist taking on an unknown saga or tale; adding an exciting challenge and getting a completely different angle on the interpretation when creating! However, Australia has its own version of the phenomena called Aurora Australis so probably Smug had some awareness of this type of Aurora as well. We would love to learn how to take a photograph of Northern Lights - Spoons have a tattoo of the phenomena - and with that in mind we think Smug did an excellent job with this Mural!

Smug is truly a world-famous Mural Painter and one cool thing is that he many times includes friends or even himself in his work.

So in the Artwork in Partille we can see one of his good friends; Street Artist and Sign Maker Ciarán Glöbel (Check out Ciarán Glöbel on Instagram - right now there's a Video PodCast with Sam "Smug" Bates linked in the bio!) as one of the wanderers that Revontulet saves during the storm when the Northern Lights is created in the Finnish myth.

RELATED POST: "Skin and Bone" - an art exhibition of Sam Bates aka Smug

Smug has an exceptional talent for details. His lifelike Street Art, the effect of lights in the Art, and the ability to make even the smallest of details stand out on his big murals to have made him respected throughout the Street Art World.

His work often includes the faces of family and friends, birds, animals, and skulls. Smug is one of our personal favorite Street Artists and Mural Painters and it's amazing to see his work up-close!

Find Smug Street Art online: Smug's Instagram and Smug's Facebook.

Co-Creating Art and Street Art Workshops

In every municipality Artscapes Street Artists make Murals, they also do workshops or co-create together with the people living on the location. It can be a "try street art" workshop together or by gathering ideas for an art piece performed by the artist.  In Partille the Malmö-based street artist Elina Metso (Check out her Instagram!) did the street art painting above with the inspiration from the locals when asking what they thought of when hearing about "sagas and tales". Of course dragons and caves! And reading books.

On the tour, Torbjörn from Artscape talked about all the Mural Paintings, the inspiration behind the art, and interesting facts about the artists and their contribution to Artscape Saga. Inspiring to hear about their work and the Street Artists.

Detail from the Artscape Saga Co-created Street Art in Partille

Street Art in Mölnlycke

After Partille we headed for Mölnlycke, to see the amazing art of Captain Kris from New Zealand. His piece was inspired by the West African tale about the Frog and the Mouse that became friends...with a little mishap when they went home to the frog. Captain Kris's artwork is a mix of New School, Cartoon-ish, and with an uplifting sense of humor and superhero vibes. You should definitely check him out. Find Captain Kris Street Art online: Captain Kris' Instagram and Captain Kris Facebook.

GIBCA Exhibition Ollio

The other part of the organizers of the Street Art Tour was GIBCA; Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Arts. GIBCA is a project in contemporary art that occurs every two years in Gothenburg. Since its inception in 2001, GIBCA has established itself as one of Sweden's largest art events and is regarded internationally as one of the young, exciting biennials in Europe. The 2019 Biennale's title, "Part of the Labyrinth", is borrowed from Danish poet Inger Christensen's response to Descartes axiom "I think, thus I am" from 1637: "I think, / thus I am part / of the maze" (from Letter in April 1979). You can read more about GIBCA and "Part of the Labyrinth" here!

The style above is typical and a signature style of the Street Art of Ollio

One of many Exhibitions in the GIBCA Program and schedule was the one we visited next; Artist Ollio's Exhibition in Mölnlycke Culture House. Ollio, or Jonathan Josefsson, began his artistic career as a Graffiti artist. For a while, he lived in Barcelona. The official explanation was to study Spanish but he did a lot of graffiti in the Catalonian city. When coming home he went to Art School for Textiles where he learned a lot about the creative process. When the punishment for making illegal graffiti was going from small fines to accouchement of damaging official buildings and even prison, Ollio ended with Street Art for a while, concentrating on school. But two scholarships from Art School was a springboard to a new situation; it made him a respected artist with exhibitions and ordered art for hospitals, schools, and public institutions, and with that also a huge amount of requests making Graffiti legal walls followed. Luckily, we have a lot of his Art on the Streets in Gothenburg due to that. Graffiti and creating his Art in a "flow" is still one of his trademarks. The Street Art especially, always leaves me standing for a long time looking at all the details.

Besides Street Art and his "ordinary" artworks, Ollio also does tufted carpets(!) which he learned at Art School for Textile and the combination of expressions to his colorful style is really a great one. 

When Ollio does an Exhibition he almost always also included a work of art made on a wall and in Mölnlycke it was a big one, representing his unique style really well.

Find Ollio Street Art online: Ollio's Instagram and more Art on Ollio's Tumblr

Jonathan "Ollio" Josefsson's GIBAC Labyrinth Artwork at Mölnlycke Culture House 

Street Art in Mölndal

After the Ollio Exhibition, we embarked on the bus and headed for Mölndal and found this fantastic Mural telling the Irish Myth of Tir na nÓg - the Gods Land of Eternal Youth. Street Artist James Bullough from the USA has made a Mural Painting inspired by Niahm Chinn Óir, which means Niahm with the Golden Hair, the daughter to the King of Tir na nÓg. She left her immortal home for Olsin, an Irish poet that had captivated her with his song of love, bringing him back to her realms. His longing for the green island became too strong though so Niahm let him borrow her horse. When the horse returned alone, Niahm set away to look for Olsin. She still does...

The 3D Street Art effects on the Mural are amazing, showing James' quality of artistry so well. James Bullough does a lot of layers in his art, often with painted torn surfaces showing an ability to do extremely detailed and realistic art. Love it!

Find James Bullough Street Art online: James Bullough's site, James Bullough's Instagram, and James Bullough's Facebook.

The last Mural of our Street Art Tour was Brazilian Artist Thiago Mazza's huge mural with the inspiration from a tale that has multiple origins, about how the finch got his colors. This saga is one from Belgium about patience and waiting. 

In the beginning, all birds were grey. After a rain when they looked really colorless, the King of Birds decided to bring some color to his friends when seeing a rainbow. He was going to give them a color from the rainbow and all of a sudden the birds started to push and shove, to get their favorite colors. When The King of Birds had finished; a finch still stood back in the line, waiting for his turn...but the rainbow was gone. The Bird King then decided to bring all the birds back and taking a little color from each and every one of them, giving them to the finch.

One of Thiago Mazza's skills is to capture light and shadows which is shown especially in the leaves of the Wall Painting. The artist was amazed by the size of the wall but managed to do an excellent job with just a brush and no spray paint!

Birds and jungle are naturally a recurring subject in Thiago Mazza's beautiful Art Works, so the saga about the finch was a suitable one for this Street Artist to take on, but you should really have a look at more of his work online!

Find Thiago Mazza Street Art online: Thiago Mazza's site, Thiago Mazza's Instagram and Thiago Mazza's Facebook.

GIBCA Exhibition Amalia Bille

We ended our Mural and Art Tour at Mölndal Stadsmuseum and the GIBCA Exhibition of Amalia Bille. The Artist had some time between Exhibitions actually (busy schedule!) to talk about her work which was interesting. Amalia's exhibition contained a series of paintings she made on an event where people could drop in letting her paint their faces for about 2 minutes per session; a brief meeting resulting in art with exiting depth. Later, she used this inspiration to create sculptures of faces in ceramic. And that ended a really interesting day with Artscape and GIBCA. Hope they do this kind of trip one more time, I'll be sure to attend the remaining three that time! 

Paintings and Faces in Amalia Bille's GIBCA Exhibition "Möten och Speglingar"

Sticks & Spoons Artscape Saga Tour

This post is a part of Sticks & Spoons "Artscape Saga Tour" series of posts. You can read each part as they are, but of course, we would love it if you read them like a book; on our site, on Food and Travel Guides, and who-know-else-where! 

Table of content "Artscape Saga Tour" by Sticks & Spoons Food Travel

Feel free to share!

And just give us a shout if you want us to do a Guest Blog Post or would like to make a collaborate with us. That would be awesome!

Happy Street Art Hunting Everyone!

Detail from Mona Caron's Mural Art "Mother Earth" in Partille

This post was made with inspiration from the Street Artists and their sites, the books Artscape Saga (ISBN 978-91-639-9459-3) and Ollio "Monster och Mönster" (ISBN 978-91-85639-76-2), the sights and talks on The Tour, as well as the Artscape site and GIBCA site


Jane and Fredrik Goldhahn are Food Travel Writers blogging on Sticks & Spoons Food Travel; two devoted Foodies and a Travel Couple from Sweden, who travel for food. Recently joined by their daughter in their mission to Travel every new Destination to Explore Food.

Street Art Guide

This is a Street Art Guide to Gothenburg, Sweden, and the amazing Street Art and Mural Paintings from Artscape Saga Project. Find beautiful Street Art and Murals in this Street Art Guide from Sweden with Swedish and Gothenburg Street Art.


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