The artwork "Outpost", Mem

Motala, Norrköping

In Mem, Göta Canal´s inlet from the Baltic Sea, Karl XIV Johan inagurated the canal project 1832. This and the stunning view of Slätbaken made the site a natural choice for "Outpost" by Richard Johansson.

He himself says this about his work:
"My spontaneous idea when I got the sketch mission was to sculpt a sailor. It would symbolize travel and return. After visiting Mem on a couple of occasions, I started working on my sketches. Now it was obvious to me to figure out a sculpture that stands out as the outpost at the bottom. When I stood at the intended place, a building of some kind felt natural, perhaps like a pavilion surrounded by water. I wanted to do a work that can refer to a different era, where the craft feels tangible."

Richard Johansson's thoughts about the four bronze figures on the roof are that the sailor is to be seen as a symbol of goodbye and reverence, Baltzar von Platen as viewer of his canal, the tree as a picture of nature experiences awaiting the journey and the bird as an annual recurrent.

The work is placed a bit into the protruding country tongue at the Mem lock and holds a dialogue with the little lighthouse outside the edge of the opposite beach strip. The building with its rustic brick facades offers the visitor a resting place, a viewing room that opens towards the entrance of the canal.

The Vision at Water art project has made a good impression along the Göta Canal since a few years back. The annual art competition has resulted in several permanent artworks along the Göta Canal.