Let Art lead you on a voyage of discovery through Västerbotten. The route from the coast at Holmsund in the east to Borgafjäll in the mountains of southern Lapland in the west is lined with 12 different works of art. A journey along the Art Route also provides fantastic experiences in nature and passes through many sites of cultural historical interest.
During your journey from coast to mountains you will pass the seven rivers - Vindel River, Ume River, Öre River, Lögde River, Gide River, Ångerman River until, high up among the mountains of southern Lapland, you reach the River Sax. The twelve works of art passed along the route are each completely different in character and tone. Together this unique exhibition forms the longest art installation in the world.
Exhibition under development
The first artwork, "Vagledning" by Gunilla Wihlborg was installed as long ago as 1996 and during 1998 a further nine artworks were completed. The first one is no longer in place due to wear and tear but has been replaced by another work. During 2012 it is planned to install artwork number 13 at Borgafjäll.
"That artwork will have a strong connection to the local Sami culture," says Bo Nilsson, board member of the Seven Rivers Art Route.
"During the projects time we have worked to strengthen ties to the countryside in which the work is to be built and we now involve the local residents in the process when a new artwork is to be installed," he continues.
The artists behind the installations' are all recognized artists. Visitors testify that this is not only a journey through art but also places for reflection and coming together. For example "Oh du härliga land" by Mattias and Linda Baudin, a collection of bronze figures inspired by stories from the area. Within this circular work is seating for those wishing to pause and reflect.
More than Just Art
As the route stretches right across Västerbotten the journey also offers a variety of nature and spectacular views. Many of the artworks are placed in such a way as to enhance the experience of nature. Along the route there also many other activities to interest the whole family. Umeå, where the journey begins, has a vibrant cultural and entertainment life with many excellent restaurants and a wide range of shopping. The next town on the journey is Vännäs, where the free-flowing Vindel River meets the Ume River. Here the railway station is a hymn to the joys of carpentry and in the town you can also find Vännäs Motor Museum, a treat for anyone with an interest in engines, and Slöjdarnas House with its wide selection of handicrafts beautifully located beside the free-flowing Vindel River.
In Bjurholm you'll find The Elk House where you can discover all about the king of the forest and even give the stately beasts a pat. The next port of call is the mountain in Fredrika where it is planned to build a Buddhist temple, and where two statues have already been erected. In Åsele you'll also find Stockholmsgata - Sweden's biggest glacial river canyon, as well as 10,000 year old caves and formations left in the wake of the glacial river.
At the end of the journey lies Dorotea Commune with Borgafjällen in the far west. Here you'll find Avasjö Chapel, which, just like the hotel, was designed by Ralph Erskine. The buildings, themselves reminiscent of the mountaintops, blend seamlessly in to the surrounding countryside, making this the perfect final stop on a journey that leaves so many impressions.