An artwork from Public Art in Ystad
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Foto Markus Fägersten

Foto Markus Fägersten


Alef, Thorwald (1896-1974)
Artifical stone
Height: 1.95m, with plinth 2.7m

In 1955, Ystad decided to acquire more public art for different places in the town. One location that was definitely in mind was the park, Bollhusparken. This rectangular setting was created around 1900 to act as a smooth transition from the old medieval town plan to the new rectilinear suburb, Östra förstaden. It was here that the major Leisure Exhibition was held in 1936. The exhibition aimed to convey the new spirit of the times, emphasising health and outdoor activities. What then could be better than the sculpture, Sun, which was acquired for Ystad in 1955 from a large exhibition at Norrviken Gardens. The almost two-meter-tall sculpture is cast in artificial stone and was placed in front of the reflective pool. Well-kept flower beds and rows of trees were part of the design.

In 2021, the park department reorganised the park by renewing the plantations and making more green space available for leisure activities. The sculpture Sol has therefore been moved to a new location next to the shallow pool.

The site is surrounded by three buildings designed by well-known architects. Bollhuset was designed by August Ewe, originally as a restaurant for the exhibition Fritiden. Rune Welin designed Fritidbadet in 1961, which today has been converted into a hotel and the controversial car park Siska by Claes B Persson in 1987. The latter two worked as city architects in Ystad.

Thorwald Alef grew up in Jönköping and studied at Althin’s School of Painting 1917–18 and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm 1919–22. He started out as a painter and is considered to be one of Sweden’s earliest modernists. In later years, he turned to sculpture. Thorwald Alef is also known for his cooperation with Estrid Eriksson at the interior design company Svenskt Tenn.

Another of his works – Skolflickor (Schoolgirls) – can be seen in Ystad, at Västervång School, Väktaregatan 6.