A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

for-web

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Recently I visited the great exhibition by the Swedish artist Jan Håfström (born 1937) at Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall in Arendal in the southern part of Norway. I specially enjoyed this black statue of Mr. Walker who was walking in all directions. It reminded me of the fact that it is never too late to change directions in one’s life.

According to the artist himself the sculpture has two aspects, one which is mentioned above, but also the fact that when Jan Håfström was a child he enjoyed to read The Phantom comic strip. His father however fancied a good drink and went often out at nights. Then the creative mind of the little boy pictured that his dad actually was Mr. Walker who went out in the dark to make the world a better place.

In 2014 another Mr. Walker, a seven-meter statue, was put up in the railroad park close to the central train-station in Stockholm, Sweden. Seen from the north it is red, seen from the south it is blue. Mr Walker has always been a source of inspiration in Håfström’s artwork.

Listen to the interview with the artist here (Swedish only) and read the article about the incident here.

ny2 ny1

MI DALÍ

 

Dali

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

riktig

Salvador Dalí’s famous picture “The Persistence of Memory” is a favorite of mine. It has many interpretations, but for me it simply says something about the small importance of time and age. And of course I love the great colors.

The Spanish surrealist Dalí was once asked if Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity was depicted in his picture. He replied that it was rather the inspiration of watching a Camembert melting in the sun. I find it humorous the way we sometimes tend to intellectualize art more than the artists themselves.

More facts about the picture here.

Yesterday when my husband returned from Spain, he brought me this Dalí inspired clock. Great fun! Now it leans on the bookshelf next to another Spanish favorite: “La catedral del mar” written by Ildefonso Falcones.

LOVE THAT LASTS A LIFETIME

web-musken-min

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

My friend and I are nine years old lying in an open spaced stairs spying at all the guests at an older sister’s party. A young woman passes by and I can smell her perfume, an incident that introduced me to the warm and sensual fragrance of Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley. I remember inhaling the nice blend deep inside, and thinking it was the best smell ever. The perfume with the unisex icon has been a companion up to this day, and at the moment it leans on my chest of drawers next to other favorites.

Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was launched in 1969 and has been rated as one of the best smelling perfumes in the world. The Alyssa Ashley brand name was born in the USA during the fabulous sixties. Young people, the hippies and the flower children did no longer want the sophisticated fragrances worn by their parents, but embraced the simple essential oils which were rooted in the oriental culture. As a result Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was created out of the fantasy of a contemporary artist, who besides expressing his talent in painting (he held a master of contemporary art) devoted much time and energy to his passion for perfumes. The bottles and packaging he designed can in themselves be considered as an expression of modern art. ALYSSA however was the name of his youngest daughter and Ashley her nickname because of her blond hair.

Musk itself originally a glandular secretion from musk deer, was from ancient time used as a popular perfume fixative until economic and ethical motives led to the adoption of synthetic musk in the late 19th century.

The perfume can be purchased from here.

THE ARCHITECT ZAHA HADID

 

nono

The famous Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid died 31st of March this year, and I had to make this collage as a tribute to one of my favorite architects.

I discovered her design a couple of years ago when I visited MAXXI – the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and I immediately fell in love with her innovative and spectacular forms. As a matter of fact I got so excited that I made this blog post about the building at the hotelroom the same day.

Up to the left in the picture we see the Heydar Aliyeu Center, a museum and a conference center in Azerbaijan, and to the right the Regium Waterfront separating mainland Italy from Sicily. Down to the left the Aquatics Center for the 2012 London Olympics, and to the right the Civil Court in Madrid.

She was really an extraordinary talented architect. Watch these films and see for yourself !                   Film 1 and Film 2.

THOSE 80s

slips-riktig

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

In a vintage store in Oslo the other day I stumbled over these skinny leather ties from the 80s. So fun to see them again, and I had to buy them right away. I remember very clearly that I gave a turquoise one as a birthday gift to a friend at one point. He told me years later that he had liked it so much that he wore it to pieces.

And all the bright clothing at that time. I recall my bright, blue coat, and not to mention how great I felt with shoulder pads inside my dresses. I do also have a clear picture of myself working in a café with a bright, pink ribbon tied in my hair. It seems like a very long time ago.

What else, oh, yes, the pop ballads with Lionel Richie, Christ de Burgh and Diana Ross. And who will ever forget the Norwegian group “The Monroes”. I am walking down the memory lane at the moment. Last week I made a playlist on Spotify with music from the 70s, today I made one from the 80s. If you like to get into the romantic mood from the eighties, you go from here.

MY ROOM FROM THE 70s

The 1970s were an interesting time for style and design. I was a teenager at that time, and remember with joy my new decorated room. A brown corduroy sofa and chair, a green table next to a couple of orange plastic furniture. From the ceiling a macramé with a green plant, and on the brown shelves my tape recorder.

tappettttttt

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

This weekend I visited my mother and spent the night in my old room. The furniture are all gone, but the hessian wallpaper in yellow and brown is still there, and an orange spotlight and striking green curtains echoe the decade.

gardin

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Yesterday I had fun playing around with my iPhone and the app “Fotoautomat” and making these memory boards. And while being in a 1970 state of mind, I had to make a playlist on Spotify with my favorites from that time. Sit back and enjoy the songs here !

And more of the colourful patterns of the 70s here !

THE NORWEGIAN FURNITURE DESIGNER INGMAR RELLING

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am the proud owner of this beautiful chair “Siesta” from 1965 made by the Norwegian designer Ingmar Relling (1920 – 2002). Relling was an impassioned designer, who created a series of functional furniture designs during his long career. Today he is considered as one of the greatest contributors to the Scandinavian Design, and fifty years later his chair stands out as an internationally recognized classic icon.

The factory Hjelle  in Norway has taken up the production of the Siesta chair with its different designs, which means that it once again can be purchased on the market.

ingmar3

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

For a long time now I have been searching for this book “The life and work of Ingmar Relling” from 1991, and I was ever so happy when I got hold of a nice copy. At the moment it is the king in my bookcase.

THE LADY OF CAMELLIAS AND LA TRAVIATA

jjjj

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

This week I really enjoyed the opera La Traviata (Italian for the fallen women) by Verdi at The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.

Before the performance I dug out my old, Norwegian copy of the novel “The Lady of the Camellias” and read it, because La Traviata is adapted from this French novel  (“La Dame aux Camélias” ) written by Alexandre Dumas the younger.

The book was published in 1848 and is about the beautiful Marguerite (in the opera she is called Violetta), a famed courtesan or a luxury prostitute. She is named the Lady of the Camellias because she wears white camellia flowers when she is available to her lover(s) and red ones when she is occupied.

The plot is filled with agony and heartache. The gentleman Armand falls in love with Marguerite and ultimately becomes her lover, convincing her to leave the city and the life as a “courtisane” and move with him out into the countryside. This idyllic life is broken when Armand’s father who is concerned that this scandalous relationship will destroy his daughter’s (Armand’s sister’s) chances of marriage, and secretly convinces Marguerite to leave Armand, who believes, up until Marguerite’s death, that she has left him for another man. Marguerite’s dies of tuberculosis abandoned by everyone.

This story is more or less based on Dumas’ real life. Marguerite’s name was actually Maria Duplessis, and she was his mistress for a year. She died 23 years old.

“The Lady of the Camellias” premiered at the Théâtre  du Vaudeville in Paris in 1852 was an instant success. Giuseppe Verdi immediately made the story into a opera. Later it became ballet and also the novel has inspired many film adaptions. The most famous ones are “Camille”  (1936) starring the Swedish actress Greta Garbo and the luxury prostitute of them all “Pretty Woman” (1990) starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. A famous scene in the latter is when Pretty woman is flown into San Francisco Opera House to see La Traviata. Watch the nice scene here.

FALL ‘EN IN LOVE

wood

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am in love with this time of the year. Picking red, juicy apples from the trees and mushroom from the forests. Planting tulip bulbs and spending the whole afternoon stacking woods.

For more inspiration, watch this !

TIME FOR A GOURMET PARTY

kniv-1

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Finally it is time for mushroom picking and for bringing the cooking up to a higher level. For two days now I have enjoyed searching “the gold of the forest”. It is ever so fun, specially returning home with a basket filled with delicacies.

The other day a colleague of mine showed me his Swedish Mora mushroom’s knife, and I immediately fell in love and had to order one right away. And that was not only because the handle was very pleasant to hold, but just as much because I loved the design and that the brush was made of real horsehair. Besides the knife had a funny story. It is actually named after former king Karl-Johan of Sweden-Norway (in English Carl III Johan) who was French and reigned from 1818 -1844. Read more about him here.

Up to 1800 mushrooms were only used for lighting fires in Scandinavia, however in French cuisine they used the fungus for cooking, and therefore Karl-Johan did all of us a favor by bringing the tradition to Norway and Sweden. According to him the most noble and delicious of all fungus  was the Boletus edulis (Steinsopp in Norwegian) which he meant had the taste of hazlenut. The monarch did even cultivate the mushrooms around his residence. All this of course lead to the fact that this mushroom is called Karljohan in Swedish. And so is my knife which can be be purchased from here !

More on Instagram @myhomeandstudio !