The recent history of Kärlingesund 1978-2016



Mats´and Sigrid´s creation, Kärlingesund Course Center, has a history marked by importunity, creativity, a certain amount of human madness in combination with the wish to leave an imprint on earth. Below you can read their own story about how the course center came to be.

Once upon a time there was an old barn with leaking roof, rotten floors where horses had left both this and that and a hen house where the hens and the rooster had mucked about the way these birds do and finally been eaten by fox, marten, mink and other henloving creatures on four and two legs. There was hay and straw from the fifites that hardly would make any cow happy even if cows generally are easy to please. This was what it was like. It didn´t amount to much.

In one part Mats created a place to build boats where he built five different wooden boats in the eighties. At that time he isolated the workshed with old hay and straw since that was to be found in abundance and it was free of charge. Since we human beings are endowed with a certain mental block that prevents us from knowing ahead of time what we are embarking on and so can take on quite hopeless projects which we did in 1995 when we happily started to transform the barn into something quite different.

We dreamt about having a business at home so that we would not have to go away to work. It probably sounds a bit pathetic, but we love this wonderful place so much. Alas – it was time to start.

Mats scetched, built, and swore while Sigrid traveled around the country with her art education to finance the building process. Together we threw out all the hay and straw and suffered for a long period of time from hay fever.

These were tough years. But our happiness was big when we finally had a working course center in 1998. Since Mats had worked as a boat builder, he hated simple solutions. He had early on thrown away the set-square and even beds were made in anything but 90 degrees to enhance the cosiness, to create details that you had not noticed before. With the headstrongness of a man från Småland even the wood boards were put diagonally to simply not make it too simple.

And be sure – simple it was not! A lot was built in oak since there was quite a lot of that left over from the boat building period.

From then on we have continued to build more. The part that was the cow shed became 5 double bedrooms. The old concrete floor needed to be lowered and it was quite a terrible work to hack it away. Not to mention all the gigantic stones that were carried out. To be on the safe side we dragged in a huge oak stem that became really smooth and soft after two weeks of persistent polishing.

Then there are all the windows. When the surrounding nature is so amazingly beautiful, all spaces between windows are failures. Since we do not have a conservatory it is all, in a way, a failure.

And yet – it is rare to find a course center where the light is so generously let in and where wherever you are you can enjoy the beautiful nature that Kärlingesund is right in the middle of.

Sigrid that has been educated in the spirit of the colorism from Gothenburg and is a working artist, brought in color and painting. The limits of us normal mortals when it comes to colors is no challenge for Sigrid. Her amazing sense of colors and her solid knowledge mean that all is possible. Her tecnique with rags, sponges, tooth brushes and even ordinary paint brushes is incredible. The result ends up being something you did not think exist, but when you see it, it gives rise to the feeling that this is the way it should be. Everything is painted with egg oil tempera that besides being one of the sturdiest pains is also very ecofriendly and remarkably beatiful.

Next to the art, the gardens are Sigrid´s big passion. There is the old garden with its old knotty fruit trees. A new garden has also taken form. We have stopped counting the different species of roses and everything else that grows so generously in all the horse manure that Sigrid has dragged here. In the summer of 2010 we laid out 200 m2 of flagstone in different patterns on paths and on open areas.