Text by Richard Baird.
Erik Berglin is Stockholm-based contemporary artist. His work is flows from his understanding that some people find the art gallery uninviting and uncomfortable, and the artworks displayed as requiring insight to really appreciate. He himself has said that he dislikes 90% of the exhibitions he visits but adores the 10%. This clearly informs his work, which often brings the unexpected into the urban space or uses modern technologies to subvert the familiar. There is a beauty and playfulness to his work, an appealing aesthetic, but also an idea, an aha moment, for those that want to look deeper.
Beauty and the unexpected are central to Berglin’s The Bird Project. Over the last twelve years, having studied birds from antique books by the likes of J.J Audubon, the artist scanned pages from ornithology resources found in antiquarian bookshops and libraries and printed birds out at their actual size. He spent time with a scalpel and scissors carefully cutting these out and then wheat-pasted them in urban contexts around the world, documenting these as he went. From start to finish, a total of 4982 birds were wheat-pasted in twelve cities over five continents. These have been brought together in a new book, ‘The Bird Project 2006-2017’ designed by Lundgren+Lindqvist and published by ll’Editions. This is a 208 page hard back book 207×280mm in size. It features 101 plates printed using a process that substituted regular CMYK colours of the offset printing process with fluorescent alternatives. The book is also available as a special edition of 30 copies, which were divided into three sets of ten books. Each is presented in fluorescent acrylic glass slipcase with an inkjet print, signed and numbered by the artist.
Opinion by Richard Baird
Åhléns began in 1899 as a small mail-order business. Aside from it being one of the oldest it has also grown to become one of the largest retail chains in Sweden. By carefully collating a variety of items across brands and price categories, the retailer maintains its relevance today, understanding and responding to the many ways in which its customers have changed over its long history. Happy FB, the Scandinavian design studio behind Åhléns new visual identity, puts it simply “to Åhléns’ urbane and socially conscious patrons, shopping and sustainability are not contradictions. Inspiration and trends do not equate to use and discard. Premium can be inexpensive and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in quality”. The retailer’s new visual identity expresses this by taking the well-established Åhléns wordmark and single red and builds this out into a range of changing graphic expressions, imbuing a variety of touchpoints, material and digital, with more character whilst retaining a recognisable immediacy through simplicity.