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Swedish town makes art of the potato

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 26 Oct 2010, 11:27

Published: 26 Oct 2010 11:27 GMT+02:00

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”We want to promote the potato in all its forms – culinary, cultural and now artistic,” Margareta Frost-Johansson at the Alingsås potato academy told The Local.

The potato academy - Academia Solanum Tuberosum - was founded in 2008, designated as international year of the potato by the United Nations, and aims to unite representatives from the industry to work to spread knowledge about the potato.

The academy is behind the Potato Day initiative and as part of the celebrations turned to the artist Emma Karp Lundström to repeat her fruit and veg artwork made famous at the Kivik apple market in south-eastern Sweden.

”We have recruited Emma Karp Lundström to strike a blow for the potato on potato day,” said Frost-Johansson.

The 5 by 2.5 metre collage has been created with the help of eight varieties of potato - Asterix, Amandine, Ballerina, Blue Congo, Cherie, Fontane, King Edward och Roaster - and will be unveiled at 1pm on Lilla Torg in central Alingsås.

Karp Lundström has for the past decade been the artist responsible for creating a collage of apple harvest varieties as a centre piece to the annual Kivik apple market which helps to attract some of the hordes of visitors that find their way to Sweden's Apple Kingdom in the Österlen region of Sweden's far south each year.

The market was launched in the 1998 in a bid to defend and promote Swedish-grown apples from international competition. Whether Potato Day can have the same effect on the humble Swedish spud remains to be seen, but Margareta Frost-Johansson told The Local that the event is here to stay.

”This is the first year and is something of a pilot. We plan to turn the occasion into an annual event,” she said.

Story continues below…

After the 1pm unveiling, which will be accompanied by the music of the local King Edward Orchestra, Karp Lundström's piece will then be left to the elements for spectators to enjoy.

”It is the type of artwork which will change with time. The birds will no doubt find it attractive at some point,” Frost-Johansson said.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:07 October 26, 2010 by maxbrando
Just remember, the "spud" comes from the Americas - as does the tomato. Without these, you Swedes would still be eating "Swedes" (a.k.a. cabbage), and not "potatis moos" or pizza. Give credit to this in the display. Art attribution, no less. and there are over 9,000 varieties of potatoes, and many seeds of them are in a repository in America.
19:14 October 26, 2010 by Keith #5083
aha. Which USA government created the spud?
20:28 October 26, 2010 by Swedesmith
They originated in South America.
21:12 October 26, 2010 by maxbrando
You idiots! I SAID the spud comes from the Americas, not the USA and the spud did not originate only in South South America. What is with you communists? Don't you ever tell the truth? (The answer iws no, of course.) In the next war, the Russians get you. A..holes.
02:32 October 27, 2010 by MarkinBoston
Rutabagas are 'swedes,' not cabbage. Rutsbagas, or yellow turnips, were the common starch of northern Europe before the spread of potatoes.
09:12 October 27, 2010 by eppie

What is your problem. I think it is common knowledge that patatoes come from south america and were brought to europe by Columbus. But the question is 1; so what and 2; nobody said they were from europe and 3; why are you proud of something you didn't create yourself
11:21 October 27, 2010 by Åskar


4) Since you so obviously are totally clueless about why Alingsås celebrates the potato why don't you try to learn the connection before you open your mouth?
12:29 October 27, 2010 by gabeltoon
Well done "ASKAR". My sentiments exactly. Maxbrando seems to be typical of alot of AMERICANS, they only know and are interested in what goes on within their own bordors.It's high time they paid more interest in the rest of the world.I could be rude and say "maxbrando GET A LIFE.
15:49 October 27, 2010 by facetedjewel
Regarding Alingsas (pardon keyboard) and Jonas Alstromer:




"Rutabagas are 'swedes,' not cabbage. Rutsbagas, or yellow turnips, were the common starch of northern Europe before the spread of potatoes. "

And thank heavens for Sir Alstromer! No one in my family will eat a rutabaga or a turnip. We'd have starved. Yeeaaigh!
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