And so we arrived in Skelleftea (pronounced shel-ef-te) from the concrete-jungle that is London. Our expectations were those of tundra, ice and polar bears; in reality it was a warm wilderness retreat. Along with the traditional Swedish delicacies, such as fika, we experienced a side of the Arctic* that was not on the tourist brochures.
The Tomma Rum house was full of great characters from all over Europe; we had a good proportion of Swedes, along side the Dutch, Bulgarians, Spanish, Ukrainians and Brits. With a mood that was very conducive to creativity and discussion at every action-packed (vegetarian) dinner.
The nearby lake was a beautiful place to get away and have a midnight swim with some (apparently) dubious fish and 2.8% beers.
On the Friday of our stay we put together and presented an exhibition of recent works by the world famous Tomma Rum artists to the local town. As a team we all contributed towards a stop-motion piece, thanks to the highly intelligent and helpful Michael and Nia. This involved the sacrifice of many tourism brochures and local magazines, generously provided by the tourist office, for our collage. The stop-motion project was a huge success, and brought together many different methods of animation and story-telling, from the Swedish House Mafia, to computer scientists and moose. We took the opportunity to create a rather original mural during the exhibition where lots of local people got involved to create a quite unique piece of art.
On our penultimate evening we also presented our work in the nearby town of Bureå (pronounced boorayooh! to any non Scandinavians). We enjoyed local musicians, presented our stop-motion animation to an excited audience, and made a phenomenal bonfire together.
Altogether we had an incredible experience in Skelleftea, where we had the chance to get creative meet so many great people and work together.
*much to our disappointment, and the fiction on wikipedia, Skelleftea is apparently not in the Arctic.
Thank you Tomma Rum, if only we could do this all year round, from Camille and Jane xx