Thanks to its spectacular location by the river and its colourful exterior, Röda Sten Konsthall is one of Gothenburg's most iconic buildings. Day time, the area surrounding the post-industrial brick cube fills up with skateboarders, graffiti painters, art lovers and sun-worshiping locals and in the evenings the premises turn into one of the city’s most popular nightclubs. But not so many years ago, this was not the case.
- Before the renovation in the year 2000, the building was essentially a ruin with broken windows and brick walls, says Mia Christersdotter Norman who was hired by the non-profit organisation Röda Sten Kulturförening in 2005.
- When I started here, there was no heating during winter and now and again the occasional rat ran across the floor. Since then, things have developed step by step.
"The lack of large institutions has promoted grass root engagement"
When Röda Sten Konsthall became responsible for Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art in 2006 it helped the gallery to develop further which resulted in exhibitions by international artists and collaborations with international curators. But despite the fact that Röda Sten Konsthall has become one of Gothenburg's leading and most popular art institutions, the alternative atmosphere remains.
- The location itself means a lot to us and it is important that people feel that they can come here to just hang out, dance or paint – you don’t have to buy anything. Our educational activities are also very important to us. Not least, the legal graffiti wall has meant a lot for our work with young people, says Mia Christersdotter Norman.
"There’s a lot going on on the art scene right now"
The fact that Röda Sten Konsthall is run by a non-profit organisation is something that Mia Christersdotter Norman thinks is kind of typical to Gothenburg.
- The lack of large institutions has promoted a grass root engagement and contributed to the emergence of artist-run initiatives and places for art. Gothenburg is a great art city: it is easy to get to know people and get a hang of the art scene - yet it’s a big city where there is always much more going on than you’re aware of.
During the year, Mia Christersdotter Norman likes to visit cultural events such as Majornas Konstrunda (the art walk in Majorna), Kulturnatta (the Culture Night), and the street art festival Artscape that will be held in Gothenburg during 2016. Göteborgs Konsthall, Galleri Box, Konstepidemin and Gallery 54 are some of the places that she goes to to see contemporary art.
- There’s a lot going on on the art scene right now and I definitely think that you should keep an eye on the students from Akademi Valand. Both our candidate exhibition and the master exhibition at Göteborgs Konsthall showed many new and interesting artists, she says.
Name: Mia Christersdotter Norman
Job: Director at Röda Sten Konsthall
Lives: In an apartment in the neighbourhood Kungsladugård
Favourite neighbourhood: Majorna and Kungsladugård where I live
Favourite tram: The tram named Freddie Wadling! And tram 11 or 9 which run between Bergsjön and Saltholmen and between Angered and Saltholmen.