Public Art
The birds from OZet is a site-specific meeting between dream and reality, natural science and magic. Near the Preschool are Rynninge Nature Reserve and Oset. It is a fantastic place and one of the country's most bird-rich areas. In late autumn, most of the birds prepare for the long journey south. Some birds migrate to southern Europe. Others as far south as the Sahara, Asia and South America. The little bird, the silver tern, is the bird that moves the farthest of them all. In autumn it moves across the Atlantic to Western Europe and further along the coasts of West Africa to the waters of Antarctica. Migratory birds use the earth's magnetic field to navigate, and the magnetic field guides the birds to the region where they will nest in the summer and hibernate in the winter. Oset's varied nature consists of coastal forests, wet meadows, reeds and open water. No wonder so many birds thrive there and return year after year. I have chosen to call my installation The Birds from OZet. The title alludes to The Wizard of OZ, the children's book that became a movie musical in 1939, starring Judy Garland. In the film, a tornado uproots Dorothy, her dog Toto and the entire house to the magical land of OZ. There she meets the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion with whom she joins on the long journey to the Emerald City to meet the mighty Wizard. Dorothy's three companions search for various qualities that they think they lack and that they think the Wizard can help them with.

With this fairy tale in mind, I have let the birds from Oset be thrown into the tornado and wake up in the land of OZet. In this country, nothing is as usual. New bird species have taken shape. A bird has a leopard skin and a tail. A Canada goose has gained a giant long neck and its usual grey-black pattern now has a pattern of large colourful spots, almost  like a real giraffe. The little warbler, who likes to sit still in the reeds and sing, now flies with rapid wing beats to catch up with the Blackbird across the sky wearing a zebra coat. And the story goes on...
Location: Public Art installation at Norrtälje Harbour, Sweden
Commissioned by: Örebro kommun (municipality), Sweden
Project managed: Örebro Art hall
Material: Painted and hand screen printed laser cut MDF, laminated digital printed PVC, monochrome wall paintings, laser cut and glued MDF stools. Varied sizes.
Photo: Martin Kallin