It all started when I got a Baby Björn for Christmas. We were gathered around the Christmas table, taking turns in opening gifts when someone mentioned an art museum in the Stockholm archipelago. Apparently, baby carrier designers, Lillemor and Björn Jakobson, gained so much success from their Baby Björn products that they decided to open a private art exhibition space in the middle of the forrest. And hey, why not? In June 2012, Artipelag was born and a few days ago I had the chance to go check it out.
Artipelag is founded on 22 acres of land and houses a gallery called Artbox, which boasts 13,000 square feet of space and a 39 foot high ceiling. It’s purpose simple to spark interest for and cultivate knowledge of art through programs based on interactive education. The site was designed by architect, Johan Nyrén, together with landscape designers, Bengt Isling and Daniel Ericsson. It’s gently integrated into the encompassing pine forest and as stated by Nyrén, “The building has an organic form, growing out of its conditions on site...” Light spills in through floortoceiling waterfront windows and flows over floors of polished bedrock. It bounces up to high wooden roof beams and back down again into an open cafe full of traditional (and delicious) Swedish pastries. The resulting environment is airy, welcoming and serene.
Outside, guests can also take a leisurely stroll through the forest along the 800 meter wooden walkway which stretches out to the bay (wheelchair and stroller friendly). Or head up to the “green roof” for some more outstanding views and a winding stone maze. Oh and mom, and if you forget your stroller, just ask and Artipelag will be happy to lend you one of their Baby Björn’s for free. Besides the magnificent views mouthwatering sweets, the artwork is the attraction most come to see. Exhibitions at Artipelag rotate every 3-4 months and feature everything from photography and design furniture, to light installations and musical performances.
Currently the exhibition, “Svarta Tavlan” (running through January19th 2014), showcases chalk art from various artists including Tacita Dean and Christian Marclay. The show delves into the concept of the blackboard and its pedagogical use which now seems nostalgic and outdated but displays the strong connection it has maintained with contemporary art. Next up is “The Visible” which will inquire into the last five years in Swedish photography. It will examine the change that has happened in the industry over the last twenty years as well as the steady rise and success of the female photographer.
Artipelag is about 20 minutes by car from the city’s center and during the summer, they send out their own passenger boats to shuttle visitors to and from the city. An excellent opportunity to take in some of the surrounding scenery. If you’re in Stockholm or anywhere in the area, this is definitely a spot not to miss!