An artistic co-operative
TEXT: PIA PETERSSON | PHOTOS © MALIN ROBERTSON HARÉN
All over Sweden, countless fantastic, old, industrial buildings are abandoned, derelict and unloved. The old paper mill in Fengersfors in the county of Dalsland is a refreshing exception, however. These old brick buildings are enjoying a second life as a cultural hub, where febrile artistic activity is going on around the clock.
“Not Quite is a co-operative consisting of just over 60 members: artists and craftsmen such as photographers, blacksmiths, carpenters, ceramists, designers, textile artists, metal artists, silver crafts, visual artists and so on,” says Malin Robertson Harén, marketing manager and herself a member of the co-operative, specialising in photography.
Established in 2001, Not Quite is the brainchild of a group of local art students, blacksmiths and carpenters who needed workshop space. From the very beginning, they hoped to create an international art and culture centre, hosting exhibitions, a café and a shop, something that, 18 years later, has become a reality. Not Quite welcomes 30,000 visitors per year, which is a rather remarkable number, keeping in mind that the population of Fengersfors is 400.
Visitors to this vibrant cultural centre, plonked in the mysterious forests of Dalsland, do not need to fear boredom. At Not Quite, there are five different art galleries, concerts, workshops and author talks taking place regularly, there is both a café and bistro… the list goes on.
This is a place that keeps evolving, provoking new ideas and activities. “We always try to improve Not Quite, and right now, we’re developing our shop, including looking into opening pop-up shops in other parts of Sweden or even the rest world,” Robertson Harén concludes.