the Red Stone and other colours

I like the idea to take the bus or tramp to a location somewhere that comes in mind and then walk my way back by foot. Or in the other direction. But today it almost went by foot in both directions.

I’m usually not very impatient, but when it comes to waiting for the buss for example. I quickly get very restless and prefer to take a walk in the same direction to the next, or next bus stop, while waiting.

The destiny for today was Röda sten – Red stone. A place in Gothenburg  by the river Göta älv and under the bridge Älvsborgsbron, where an art gallery that also hosts a cafe and a restaurant and other cultural activities is located – with the same name. But the epicentre of the name comes from the Red painted stone about 100 meters west of the gallery building.

The history of the red stone is still unknown and is mentioned in the scrolls back in the year of 1785. But the reason of why or whom painted it red at first is not revealed. There are some theories:

That a Swedish officer was killed during a Danish invasion at the stone and his blood flooded the stone.

That a ship was wrecked in a storm and was saved by tying them to the stone.

That is just have used to be a seamark.

Another theory is that during times of war it was used to anchor a barrier over the river to prevent ships from sailing through. And to mark where the barrier was, it was painted red.

It is also said that the stone served as a border marker between Sweden and Denmark back around the year thousand.

Whatever the stone keeps getting new coats of red paint, and Sweden and Denmark lives in peace since a very long time these days. Every day, mostly swedes, get on to the ferry to Fredriksavn for fun and buy booze at the boarder shop.

As you probably may imagine when you see the Red stone gallery, you will not find any classic art here. It’s a centre of contemporary art and the history of the building when it comes to arty expression have its roots in the subculture and once upon a time used to be more or less an occupied area where restless youths gathered back in the eighties and early nineties, when the building was abandoned.

Before that the building (built in 1940) was a boiler room and was located at the same place as the brewery Carneige who made porter and manufactured sugar. Nowadays the name Röda sten refers more to the gallery of contemporary art housed in the building than the stone itself that first named the area.

The walls that facing away from the river holds Gothenburg’s only legal graffiti wall together with some stand alone walls behind the building. Except being legal and still with a distinct touch of subculture, Röda sten is not that much of subcult nowadays as it used to be, more an established hipster resort.

I was sneaking around for a while and made some shoots, and just was for a while. It’s a relaxed and laid back place with much open space, big views under the giant bridge that sounds like a snoozing monster and a wide open sea to the west where the river ends. There’s a lot of traces of past harbour and industrial culture around here. I’ll be back another day.

At the beginning of this little tour I started black and white. Because, I love black and white nowadays. But what’s the point of visiting a red stone and take picture of it in black and white. The graffiti walls seemed as well like a good choice for colour. And then I decided to go on shooting in colour for the rest of the day.

I mean, why not. It’s good to break the routines and change the view sometimes. Beside that. It’s nice to catch a nice blue sky when you have the chance to see one. It doesn’t happen every day these days of the year.

And yes, we have polar bears in Sweden… as you can see

On my way back I didn’t find much of interest to shoot. Or more likely, my mindset didn’t saw it I think. That’s a big problem with me. I get tired in my head very quickly when I analyse my surroundings, and the more people I have around me the faster I sink. Something to practice on – impression endurance in the information overload conditions. I almost becomes paralysed after a while.

So I went to the simple snapshot mode without thinking very much at all. It’s actually quite fun too, mostly afterward, cause you never know what you really do or get. I often like those simple, sometimes almost empty headed pictures I happen to catch. Often hard for others to understand the point, many times even for me.

Some shitty photos always survive for some reason, and then I tweak them back and forth to see if they have something odd to tell and worth saving, even share, for some strange reason.



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