I was in Stockholm for a very long 4.5days, and despite the quant alleyways, and rich history I came to learn; what stuck out to me most was the amazing artwork.
The exhibits I browsed through weren’t in a small museum nor had a high admissions fee, in fact they were given free if you had a metro pass. This long long art exhibit is all of the metro. EXCITING NO?!
just me… well .. whatever.
So literally the first thing I noticed after stepping foot into Stockholm is that their train stations were so artistic and detailed. So naturally, for me at least, I googled why. There’s always a reason, and alway a story. What I found were tons of little articles talking about what they call “The Worlds Longest Art Exhibit”. Not only are 90% of the subway stations decorated with some sort of sculpture, mosaic, installation, engraving, or painting. But with over 150 artist who have contributed to them, they all also tell very different and important stories.
This started out and in some ways continued as a political initiative. The social Democrats wanted art to be accessible to everyone not just the elitist. The stations were created between 1950-1970s.
Most stations were created to give people both the sense of adventure and exploration but also to tell story. Some have artefacts made from cast of things representative of the lost place of Makalös, or to tell the story of the Elm Conflict. While others are meant to simulate underground gardens, and to be sort of game like for people to find new or hidden details. Many of the stations also pay homage to Stockholm’s culture, past and present. At least 5 of the stations are meant to capture specific decades. Others are specifically related to technology and science. Not only is the corporate or political aspect captured, but they make sure to incorporate home life and it’s importance. In Sweden they have parental leave, and in one of the subway stations they display a Swedish father clearly on leave and by himself.
There’s a lot about this Stockholm trip I regret doing and not doing.
But of them I will say I wish I had spent more time just exploring the subways. Seeing all of the stops and taking time to just check them out. I believe this is an important and beautiful part of their city and history.
I didn’t get to go to all 100 stops across the 3 lines, but below (only in the slideshow) are some stolen pictures I took from offline of stops I didn’t get to see!
Also check out this post that goes a bit more in dept about the station and shows more of the stops !