No. 6, Norregatan (in Swedish addresses the number comes after the street name) in Tomelilla; two gable walls opposite each other.
A new ”mini-square” has been made on open ground between two end-walls in the middle of the little town.
On Norregatan in Tomelilla the local council has made a little park area on a patch of open ground between two end-walls, with a flower bed and some benches under a tree. It’s an improvement on how it looked here before, and soon it will look even better, since the two walls are going to be painted as part of the Street Art Österlen festival.
The wall on the northern side of the square is on the end of a low apartment building from the 1950s, which houses shops on the ground floor. Clara Bolmesjö works for the property management company that owns the building: ”I’m really pleased that we can be involved in creating a new landmark in Tomelilla”, she says. ”The wall is a perfect setting for street art; we’re right in the middle of the town, and the wall can be seen from the square, and also by the passengers on all the trains to and from the station. It’s great that we can play host to such a creative way of attracting attention to Tomelilla.”
Clara says that she’s generally in favour of graffiti, and likes the fact that street art gets culture out into society in a way that doesn’t happen when paintings are shut inside a gallery, for example. ”Art gets people talking, and if we can place art right in the middle of a community like this, then hopefully it can stimulate communication”, says Clara, who is pleased to be able to welcome the prominent New York street artist Lady Pink to work on the wall.
Tomelilla local council is also making a contribution: having placed the benches and flower bed on the square, it plans to add an ornamental globe, which the street artists will also be free to decorate.
The wall on the southern side of the square is the rear of the Stora Hotellet hotel, and is a near mirror-image of the wall on the northern side. The Swedish artist Saadia Hussain will be stamping his style on this wall. Long Thanh is the hotel manager, and he sees several positives in being part of Street Art Österlen: ”We don’t have much of an idea about what the final picture will look like,” says Long Thanh, ”but we hope that it’ll make people happy when they see it. The new square is a lift for the street, and it’s the perfect place for a nice big piece of street art to make it even better.”
Interview: Lars Kobbe