November 21, 2012

The Alvar

The bridge to Öland takes about 8 minute to cross. I’ve been going there for so many times I can’t even recall. It starts with a bit of climbing, and then suddenly – the most magnificent view of my home town from a perspective that I’m never able to relate to. Kalmar to me is intercity buses, empty squares and a glimpse of the great castle, surrounded by water, protecting what used to be the city centre. A reminding of that Kalmar was a place of huge importance in Scandinavia during the medieval times. This kind of local history that never interests you as a citizen, just as a visiter.
And here I pass the bridge and the wheels of the rental car are driving on something else, a limestone ground that Öland is built of and that affects so much here. The tap water, the industries of local quarries and of course, the specific nature, found just in a couple of other places on earth – the Alvar.

These huge areas of untouched nature. The flat landscape. The strongest vision of emptiness that I’ve ever discovered. There is absolutely nothing there, still it’s so rich. Of shrubs, flowers and insects – species not to be found anywhere else in Sweden. As a kid, I went here with school. With threads we drew up a square, maybe a meter in each direction, a small piece of landscape that was to be discovered. We were supposed find and define every different species inside this area. With a magnifying glass the ground became something else. The grey and empty nature started to move and at a closer look, a world of life occurred.

Some weeks ago, on this rainy and windy day I went to south of Öland without any purpose. I just missed this place quite much.
Of course my camera was with me. I did a lot of filming but I’ll just share a couple of stills.

In 2008 I shot some of the scenes from one of my first fashion film, Disappearing, on Öland. See it here!