Grafitti in Stockholm: Snösätra Grafitti Wall
Looking for grafitti in Stockholm? Ruth Tauber gives us a look at street art on the edge – Snösätra Grafitti Wall.
Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, but I used to think it was sometimes hard to find the “edge” in Stockholm. Where was that thing that was a bit scary, maybe had you checking over your shoulder a little, but curious to carry on and see what was round the next corner?
Last summer, I moved to the border of Huddinge Kommun, and whilst wondering in the somewhat quieter forests around here, I happened upon some pretty spectacular graffiti. I knew straight away this was more than just someone rebelling with a spray can.
These were narrative murals, this was art.
It turned out I had stumbled upon Snösätra Wall of Fame, claimed to be Europe’s biggest Grafitti park. I wandered on further, moving past the locked gates of an industrial estate and began a journey through the minds of some of the best graffiti artists in Sweden.
A melancholy Mandrill sat atop some wrangled lettering, a huge, beautifully rendered boat adorned the wall opposite.
Onwards into the park and I met Little My from the Moomin stories painting with the eponymous graffiti rat, a yarnbombed wall and a mannequin in mirrored sunglasses and a briefcase standing atop a wall, ready to jump.
A terrifying rendering of the clown from “It” invited me to look under the gate. Further down the road, I found a portrait I could identify with, a harangued mother pushing a pram and carrying shopping as a tiger casually propped his elbows up on the window behind her.
Snösätra Grafitti Wall of Fame spans a kilometre or two of various tumbling walls of an operational industrial estate with 4500 square metres of wall. Behind huge gates decked with fantastical black unicorns, there’s a scaffolding yard, behind another, a scrapyard.
What should have been a slightly depressing and pretty run down industrial estate, has been turned into a vast outdoor gallery. The collection is curated. A sign near the start says you need permission to paint.
If you delve further to the very end, you are rewarded with some of the finest graffiti yet. Murals spanning the vast side of buildings take you away from the quiet forest you have just left, and on a wild journey.
Two skeletons converse, rendered in grey and black. A bunch of metallic letter balloons almost squeak in perfect detail.
Over the last weekend in May every year, the park comes alive, as some of the world’s finest graffiti painters descend on Stockholm for the annual repaint. Everything I have mentioned recently disappeared under new layers of imagination: this years’ collection includes more of the traditional graffiti style lettering, several cartoon characters and an optical illusion or two.
If you too want to experience the edgier side of this beautiful city, you’ll have to go to the city limits to find it.
Snösätra Grafitti Park is walking distance from Högdalen and Rågsved T-bana stations on the Green line. If visiting during weekdays, please note it is an operational industrial estate. Full details of the annual festival are at www.springbeat.com.