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Swedish design with contemporary philosophy

Press Release 2008-09-19

Swedish Art & Design Extended

20 October to 7 November 2008 at

AUT St Paul Street Gallery Two

Blending Swedish design with contemporary philosophy

Kiwis and Swedes generally both enjoy the outdoors, ocean and art so it is little wonder New Zealand is home to many Swedish-born artists. Now these artists are giving back to their adopted community, filling the gigantic physical gap between Sweden and New Zealand with the Swedish Art & Design Extended exhibition.

Swedish Art & Design Extended offers a way to bridge the two cultures by matching some of the world’s best Scandinavian design with perhaps some of its most needed philosophy.

Organised by Swedish Style New Zealand, the exhibition’s manager Ulrika Jansson says most of the featured artists and designers are born in Sweden but call New Zealand home.

“Many of these Sweden-born artists and designers are definitely Kiwis these days, like screen printer Susanne Khouri who has lived here for 30 years. However, we do have one exception;” says Ms Jansson with a laugh. “The brave sculptor Göran Jönsson still lives in Sweden but will be travelling over 30,000 miles to visit NZ during Swedish Style in New Zealand.” Mr Jönsson will be showing his mystic and beautifully sculpted objects in the hopes of “establishing new relationships with a New Zealand audience.”

The public is welcome to sample a variety of modern design objects and products, jewellery, glass, paintings and sculptures from various artists, designers and companies at the three-week long event.

For the more commercially minded audience, Swedish Art & Design Extended offers examples of design processes amalgamating art and design from product inception to completion. This conscious process of integrating artists or designers into product development is an important contributor to the success of Swedish businesses today.

Yet design is not the only thing on offer at Swedish Art & Design Extended. The exhibition also gives the public the opportunity to join artistically driven discussion around the identity, culture and heritage of different countries.

“We would also like to raise questions about trans-nationality and how all the world’s population can live in unity, while still preserving individual and culture uniqueness,” Ms Jansson concludes.

This exhibition is a part of the Swedish Style New Zealand event initiated by the Embassy of Sweden. Other events from Swedish Style New Zealand include symposia on subjects that are highly relevant for both Sweden and New Zealand, including Swedish cuisine, music, literature and films. The event also hosts a number of well-renowned guests from Sweden including the patron of the event, HRH Princess Birgitta of Sweden. Visit for more information.


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