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The Jaunt

Martine Johanna - Gothenburg, Sweden


Silkscreen print, edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist, unframed

Destination: Gothenburg, Sweden

Date: 7 - 12 December, 2022

Jaunt #089

approx. 27.5"h x 19.75"w, 70cm x 50cm

"I always have some romantic idea of places that I've never been to, so this idealist version of Gothenborg manifested in my head. I did some research on what I wanted to visit, and I got to see some well known area's, but soon it felt somewhat touristy. I loved the city center and museums, I adored Haga with the antique shops and old buildings, in general the more authentic architecture was very alluring. But I did not yet feel the magic that I was looking for and I realized that my imagined Gothenborg might outshadow reality.

Last on my wishlist was Landala Egnahem, a residential area from the early twentieth century which, as an architectural project, was its own reaction to changing times. I took a walk there, through the snow, thinking I might discover things on my way there. Older Victorian era villas, repurposed as schools, felt like breadcrumbs to something good. As soon as I, slowly in a turn on the road, climbed that last hill, I saw the neighborhood appear with its dark wooden houses and natural feel and was instantly in love. The trees, & gardens all kept in natural style, the homes, the residents, everything seemed in perfect still symbiosis.

Landala Egnahem impressed me the most, because it's so well preserved; built between 1913-1922, it was an example of idealistic healthy living without industrial influences, simple and harmonious with the surrounding nature. The first industrial revolution brought Europe some counter-movements with romantic desires for natural traditional materials, purity and simple handmade design. So is this district; sober, rooted in earth, simple, functional and away from polluting influences, nothing visually disruptive is present.

With drawing in Indian ink, and coloring for the screen print, I wanted to capture that austere beauty that I experienced; the dark hues of the wood and trees against a blue winter sky, the warm colors of the sun reflecting in the windows, the quiet, and all the mystery and timelessness it exudes. I felt like the trees and houses were in a silent close relationship, like the architects meant to have nature and daily life go hand in hand, that's why I merged different aspects of the architecture with the trees, like a dark rustic treehouse sculpture that protects itself from harmful influences and looks outwards while containing endless secret stories behind the mysterious windows."