This exhibition has passed
Here is Alfie Atkins!Gunilla Bergström
In September 2021, the news came that one of Sweden's foremost picture book creators, Gunilla Bergström, has donated her original pictures from the books about Alfie Atkins to The Nordic Watercolour Museum's art collection. The donation, which includes 17 original books and countless sketches, was a gift from Gunilla Bergström while she was still alive. By presenting this exhibition in the spring of 2022, we pay tribute to the artist's invaluable work.
Gunilla Bergström took her readers very seriously. She wrote about and illustrated life itself, to create understanding for ourselves and each other. In bright colours with sharp outlines and thought-provoking dialogues, she coaxed us to broad smiles and tears. She is best known for creating Alfie Atkins, a dear childhood friend for many of us.
The books about Alfons offer a context where we can be big and small at the same time. Through the characters, we experience joy, wonder and life's surprises. She reminds us that things can be hard, but also of our ability to find solutions. Her skill at conveying this made her one of Sweden's finest picture book authors. Her imagery is inviting to children without excluding the grownups. It is funny, unnerving and goes straight to the heart.
“The image should give associations far beyond what it is. It is the crown of the work. I want the image to fly, to flutter on. ”
This spring's exhibition at The Nordic Watercolour Museum opens up Gunilla Bergström's visual world for play and learning, both literally and figuratively. Bergström's powerful imagery encourages us to participate with both body and mind. Some wooden boards transform into a helicopter that can take you anywhere and with a long string and some cardboard boxes you can build a cable car for your toys. With this exhibition, viewers step into, experience and discover the world of Alfie Atkins. A world, not entirely different from our own.