Last week of my 7 weeks long vacation got more eventful than the rest. In the end, I became restless, bored and confused, so me and the boys went to my birth town to visit my mom and my siblings a few days. For once we went a little touristic.
If you ever visit Dalarna in Sweden and pass by a small town called Avesta you should visit these two following places if you have the time.
First, the European bison park. Yes there is actually a natural existing variety of the bison in Europe. It was nearly extinction in the beginning of the 1900's but the owner of the steel plant built a park for bison breeding for rescue and at the same time the bison became the mascot for the steel products.
Today there are 3000 oxes and a European wildlife programme has planted a new herd of 20 individuals in the Carpatic mountains i Romania.
This bull were very curious and came forward to check us out. It was a little scary to have a wooden fence and one electrical wire between us, something that this fella would easily break through. Up to 1000 kg are the heaviest ones.
Another one that has become big. My 15 year old has now grown beyond me and his father and is very energetic and tired at the same time (like most teens).
In my opinion the best attraction in Avesta is "Verket" were a huge art exhibition take place every summer. Verket is the old steel plant owned by the bison man. It's a beautiful old industrial building and it has most of it caracter left. The building and the exhibition creates toghether a inscrutable and rough atmosphere. Very little light fixtures are used and at some spots you walk in dark rooms only lit by uplit art.
Bea Szenfeld with her 3D paper fashion stands in the entrance. She's a fashion designer and artist that made outfits for Lady Gaga and Björk, for instance.
I love this heavy paper flower collar.
The mill is built of slagstone from the steel process.
Jan Stenmark again! He had a contribution with some of the original collages and the weird humour that I love.
Translation: While the poster hung in the kitchen, she said nothing at all - but now, she suddenly tells me I'm sick.
In one of the halls were an amazing installation of glass art by Kjell Engman. The exhibition is called The White wife. The room is very dark only lit by the glass figures and surrounded by musical compositions by the artist.
A white figure is hovering over the pipes of the blast furnace.
Icy jaws of glass...
A row of bottles containing dancing figures with a face hiding behind it....Wait thats not part of the setup! It's a visitor, Alfons.
A row of coal barrels in furnace hall.
Along with the art, there's also an historical exhibition telling a little about the steel process in the mill. The man on the second row, on the left corner with a heavy beard, is my grandmothers uncle. Her father also worked at the plant but is not on this photo. The boys look like they are around ten years, same age as Alfons.
In the dark stands a small figure, looking at the huge photo.
A row of empty children. This is made by Hanna Vihriälä and is called "More boys are born after the war".
This is whats coming up in my mind:"Are you my mommy?"
In the end of the hall of the rolling mill stands a large organ that starts to play as you approach it. I didn't try but the music it plays should interact with the visitor by a mat and a microphone connected to the organ. We ran out of time one and half hour wasn't enough. I could have walked around here for hours.
The entrance of the mill. The building is very large and stretches out with several halls behind this one. The complete process of steel, from ore to finished steel was once represented in this building. I highly recommend you a visit.
I finish with a photo of my mothers grapes, a lot bigger than mine.