Art work by students from Ulriksdal School

Arenastaden has been transformed into a magnificent meeting place in just a short space of time, boasting fantastic shopping, great companies and one of the world’s most modern stadiums. Arenastaden attracts over a million visitors every year. More hotel rooms, long-stay accommodation and new offices are now being built, and there are many more plans for the district. There’s no doubt this is a thriving, fast-pace district. But we felt we were lacking a younger person’s perspective and creativity.

In spring 2019, Fabege launched a project called Miniature Art – Wellbeing, Safety & Playfulness together with Ulriksdal School in Solna. The project was part of the students’ secondary school art and design options, which aimed to encourage them to explore and develop different forms of expression, and to design something.

In the winter the students were invited to Arenastaden to see the possible places that Fabege had chosen to display the artwork. We asked them to come up with suggestions as to how to add a touch of playfulness to Arenastaden. Elements that surprise and get people to stop and admire them for a moment. Something that breaks up the day; something colourful that demands the focused attention of the viewer, because it may deceive the eye at first glance.

The students were given the chance to both create works of art for specific locations, and explain their thinking behind it. We then selected seven pieces to set up, and these are now on display in a larger format in designated locations around Arenastaden.

Super Mario

Hanna Persson, class 8:1, Ulriksdal School 2019

Hanna Persson has drawn characters from the popular Nintendo game featuring the energetic plumber Super Mario. The piece depicts enemies Goomba and Blooper standing and guarding the iconic green pipe and the priceless gold coin. Super Mario himself isn’t in the picture, but maybe he’s just managed to slip away from his enemies and disappear down the pipe?

Hanna often played Super Mario when she was younger. It’s a simple game to play, but at the same time fun and challenging. Super Mario was the first idea that came into her head. The green pipes in the game become part of the step here. Hanna hopes that her piece of art will convey joy and that the observer will recognise the characters.

Fluorescent patterns

Jade, class 9:3, Ulriksdal School 2019

Jade has created a work of art that is on display on large flower pots in Arenastaden, showing optically intricate patterns in fluorescent colours. Fluorescent colours, or luminous colours as they are also called, have never heard of the Law of Jante. They want to stand out! “Cool and appealing to the eye,” comments Jade of her choice of colours.

The abstract theme is open to interpretation. The more observant viewer will be able to pick out all sorts of features: figures, letters or something completely different. The theme is heavily based on repeated triangles, a shape that Jade has liked and drawn inspiration from since she was little.

Mammoths on ice

Joel Peries, class 8:3, Ulriksdal School 2019

“What would mammoths be doing if they were still around today?” wondered Joel Peries. Well it’s obvious, they’d be ice skating! Joel loves ice skating and when he was tasked with creating a piece of art, he looked to his leisure interests for inspiration. The link between ice and mammoths was crystal clear, as they were around during the Ice Age. After ice skating, they go home again and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate in front of the fire, imagined Joel in classic fable style.

The piece is cleverly positioned at pavement height. Just as with many other works of street art in small format by artists such as Slinkachu, The Pot Hole Gardener and Anonymouse, visitors will need to keep their eyes open and look carefully.

Flower wall

Linn Åker, class 9:3, Ulriksdal School 2019

Murals are largely used to create more movement and a vibrant feel in urban environments that often tend to be monotonous and monotone. Linn Åker has painted flowers and butterflies on what would otherwise be just a grey wall. “I wanted to bring plenty of colour into the picture and something to lift people’s spirits, to liven up the grey street,” explains Linn. When you’re parking the car, you’re now greeted with this glorious wall of colour. You can’t help but feel joy! There a murals all over the world, but the art form is still fairly unusual in Sweden. But more of them are turning up everywhere, here in Arenastaden too.

Pay a visit to the other side of the district and see if you can find Elina Metso’s mural!

Mouse theatre

Casper Björkman and Hanna Lindevall, Ulriksdal School 2019

Tiny mammals survived the meteorite impact that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs some 60 million years ago. Today they are all around us, in cities and forests. Casper Björkman and Hanna Lindevall were inspired by the Swedish street art collective Anonymouse to create a miniature theatre for mice. “Funny and unexpected” is how Casper and Hanna describe their work of art. Passers-by whose minds are elsewhere may well miss the mouse theatre, as it demands an observant audience.

Straw bolls

Hanna Burh, class 9:2, and Elin Östberg, class 9:3, Ulriksdal School 2019

Hanna Burh and Elin Östberg have made these exquisite, star-shaped sculptures that are hanging in the trees along Pyramidvägen 2. Together they create movement in the urban environment. They can be clearly seen, even when the trees are green, and they move gently in the wind or hang still like stars in a clear winter’s night.

While they have been made by human hand, they are also verging on organic. They are reminiscent of snowflakes or sun glitter on a lake, albeit less fleeting.

Love Yourself

Elina Panbehchi and Lulia Younas Woldemichael, class 9:2, Ulriksdal School 2019

Influenced by the K-pop group BTS, Elina Panbehchi and Lulia Younas Woldemichael have created roses, drawn in a single line. Elina and Lulia decided that their piece would be as important to them as it would be for the observer. Their inspiration came from BTS, who have an explicit philosophy of respecting all people, whatever their race or religion. The group also encourages their fans to love themselves. Steel thread was the best material for realising the vision for their piece, which is also lit up from behind with LED lights.

Love Yourself Her. Blooming Flowers is the full title of the piece.

The flowers bloom. The step of starting a feeling of love and maximizing the emotion.

- 방탄소년단 BTS

Changed 22 June 2023

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