Sven Froekjaer-Jensen                       Landscapes and Memories.  

 

Landscapes and memories.

 

Behind every painting is a consciousness, and in the consciousness the memories create an identity – and a landscape mixed with memory, like a trunk of treasures.

 

 

Below here you can find paintings of Danish landscapes. Most of them are created recently, and you can just enjoy them as windows to chosen places in Denmark. 

But since all these paintings are born as a mix of the memory of the past expressed through the shape of a landscape, maybe you can encounter yourself in the pictures in this book.

In this project I have strived to create my memoires form important moments of my past. But instead of just writing it down, as normally done, I have combined the memory with a painting of a landscape. 

 

You might not have walked with a beautiful person through the night described below or been skating on the ice but since most human lives in many ways are alike, these glimpses of Denmark and the past may open doors to your own landscapes of memories. Have a pleasant journey.

 

Sven Froekjaer-Jensen.

Danish Artist. Born 1943. Cand. Mag from the University of Copenhagen 1969 in history and religion. Teacher at Slagelse Gymnasium until 2008. Debut as an artist 2008. Many juried exhibitions, solo- and group shows in Denmark and abroad.

Reciever of many awards.

Married, having 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

 

Morre information:

www.svenfroekjaer.com

www.sommergalleriet.dk


Contact.

svenart@live.dk

0045 20967308


   

Sunset memory from Hoerve, Sjaelland, Denmark.

 

 

 

Solen er så rød, mor og skoven bli'r så sort
Nu er solen død, mor og dagen gået bort.
Ræven går derude, mor vi låser vores gang.
Kom, sæt dig ved min pude, mor
og syng en lille sang.

.

 The sun is just so red, mom,The forest very black

The sun is dead now, mom, The day has passed away.

The fox hunts out there mom, we lock our door.

Come, sit here by my pillow, mom and sing a little song.

Harald Bergstedt. Poems. 1915

 

 


The name of the year was 59, my age 15, autumn it was, winter drawing near, the sky over the garden over my mother´s house blazing with colours.

 

I really loved my mother, and when she had sent the last customers home from her shop below, where she sold a lot of dresses and other items to the women of our small town, we often sat talking, while dusk was falling. I really cherish the memory of that time, and one day, when we had been close to each other and discussing many subjects, me sitting in the red armchair, she in the sofa, I rose and went to the window and looked out.

 

58 years later I have tried to recollect the moment in this painting,

 

   
Tranevejlen, Odsherred. In the dead of winter, I told you so.

 

All the time they seemed to be skating in fanthomless depths of air,

so blue the ice had become; and so glassy smooth was it that they sped

quicker and quicker… with the white gulls circling about them, and cutting

in the air with their wings the very same sweeps that they cut on the ice

with their skates.

Virginia Voolf. Orlando. 1928

 

 


The winters of the 50´s were often rather cold in Denmark, and the ponds on the fields, the small rivers and even the salt sea froze to ice, so you could skate on it. The clothes and the rubber boots many of us wore, were quite cold, but the lack of comfort was driven away by the feeling of the air, the lightness of running on the ice and the freedom of childhood. When you came home to your mother, the cheeks were red as old apples and the feeling of weight in your body just wonderful. I don’t keep my childhood hidden in a guitar, but maybe in a pair of rubberboots and iceskates.

 

This painting shows a very characteristic landscape with the island of Nekseloe in the background. The island has played a very inspiring role for me, and I have been looking at it every summer my whole life from our summerhouse.

 

 
An early morning in the spring of 1960. Nekseloe in Odsherred.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

English nursery rhyme. 19. century or before.

 

 

In the very early spring a 17-year-old girl and I rose at 5 o´clock in the morning and rowed the two miles to the island of Nekseloe.

The sea was quite calm and very, very beautiful, and so was the girl. Today I have been married to her for 53 years.

On our way home at midday a strong gale rose, the waves got very big, and the water started to pour over the sides of the boat, so we had to take an alternative route home. Since it was a bit dangerous, the girl sat in the bottom of the boat, and since she was afraid, she started singing to keep the fear and the water demons away. Luckily she is still singing to me, keeping the demons away.

   

The St. Hans Night when the bonfire is lit.

 

 

Himlen var som hvide roser. Langt ude, en mil ude brændte en glædesild på en høj. Der fløj en tavs fugl hurtigt forbi og videre ud i den svale dæmring. Piletræet ved brønden hældede sig stille med alle de milde, hvide blade i den lyse nat. En spæd, askehvid mølsværmer flakkede i natluften. Himlen var tåget af stjernelys.

 

The sky was like white roses. Far out, a mile out, a bonfire burned on a hill. A silent bird flew quickly past into the cool twilight. The willow at the well bowed itself quietly with all the mild white leaves in the bright night. An ashencoloured moth fluttered in the night air. The sky was dimmed by starlight.

Johannes V. Jensen. The fall of the king. 1,933

 

 

Every year at midsummer the bonfires are lit all over Denmark. It is a very old tradition and

often celebrated with friends and family. My wife and I have been together with the same fine friends for many, many years at midsummer, where we eat our shared food together, drink and sing the song connected with midsummer and have a good time in the night.

I have a long row of memories from midsummer bonfires and very beautiful and fragile light of the longest day of the year, when heaven is open by day and by night.

 

In the painting the light from the small bonfire is reflected in the lake and maybe rain is coming.

   
Walking through the night in Odsherred.

1962.

 

 

Once there was a path
And a girl with chestnut hair,
And you passed the summers
Picking all of the berries that grew there…

L. Cohen. Dress rehearsal Rag. 1971.

In the summer of 62 I was in love with a young girl, and in a beautiful summer night we decided to walk together to my mother´s summerhouse several miles away. Of course we did not want to follow the easiest path, so we went across the lowlands through the fields at last following a very tiny and overgrown path through the fields with the ears from the long and almost ripe wheat or barlow hindering our steps.

 

The girl had her hair in two braids.

Did I tell you that she was wearing a light dress with some sort of small crinoline,

so very modern in those days ?

 

It was the most typical Danish summer night and the dew had fallen rather heavily. The light was almost transparant, but the wet stalks were bad for her legs below the dress, so I carried her on my back along the trail. I still remember the feeling of one of her braids on my neck, her breathing on my back and her wonderful smell.

   

Field at Kaarup, Odsherred. In the middle of the Summer.

 

 

 

…for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes..

Psalm 103.15.

 

To you it might look just a normal field, but it is not. This is near the place where my mother brought me on the back of her bike when I was about 5 years old, telling me the story of some young people, whose love was impossible. Although being so young, I strongly sensed her feelings for the young people. Now about 70 years later I wonder if she was one of them.

 

Not so long ago I visited the place with our very good friends from Bloomington, USA, but maybe I forgot to talk about the love story.

   

The Sea and Nekseloe.

 

 

The sea was calm, your heart would have responded gaily,

beating obedient to controlling hands, you on the shore…

T. S. Eliot: The waste land. Original draft. 1922.

 

In the first part of the summer of 1948 I stood at the sea with my parents looking at the island of Nekseloe.

Although I was ordinarily dressed with belt and trousers, I ran into the water to impress my mother and father, and threw myself with all my clothes on into the clear sea. A small girl who became my friend, not my spouse, for her whole life, was standing nearby and maybe I just wanted to show off to her too.

The grown ups didn’t scold me, they just laughed very friendly and took me to the summerhouse for dry clothes.

In my eyes the water was just as mysterious a blue as on the painting. And the day so beautiful having both a father and a mother. 

   
Outside the edge of town. I.

 

 

En lille nisse rejste
med ekstrapost fra land til land,
hans agt det var at hilse
på verdens største mand.

 

A little nisse traveled

with extra mail from place to place,

His aim it was to greet

The biggest man in the world

Children´s song. En lille nisse rejste

J C. Gerson, 1845

My grandparents lived 200 km away in Jutland, a great distance in those days. I spent a lot of my childhood over there with their big and fine family.

One day in the summer of 47, I think it was, I sneaked out of their house alone, because I was overtaken by a very strong desire to see what was outside the little town. Although I was only 3 or 4 years old I was very determined to explore this mysterious and maybe wonderful area.

So off I went about a kilometre to the edge of town, where the fields started. In the painting I have tried to show the feeling of wonder and excitement over this big expedition for such a small kid.

   

Gathering feed for the rabbits with a fewer.

 

 

Det er hvidt herude,
kyndelmisse slår sin knude
overmåde hvas og hård,
hvidt forneden, hvidt foroven,
pudret tykt står træ i skoven
som udi min abildgård.

 It's all white here,

Kyndelmisse ties its knot

strangely sharp and hard,

white below, white on top,

powdered thick stands wood

in woods as in my garden.

Steen Steensen Blicher. 1838.

In wintertime the sun often sets with a abundance of blue colours. The air vibrates with the coming darkness, and the fatigue sets in.

In the winter of 54, being 11 years old I had to collect free frozen carrots for my rabbits some miles from my home.

The carrots were transported in my little brother´s baby carriage tied to my mother´s bicycle. Driving or rather walking through the landscapes that was dressed in blue snow, I got immensely tired. At home I was ill with a rather high fever. But the rabbits got their feed, and I never forgot the deep blue colours on the road home through the dusk of winter.

   
Walking in the fields with our children.  

 

 

There is no end to this story
No final tragedy or glory
Love came here and never left

Now that my heart is open
It can't be closed or broken
Love came here and never left

Lhasa de Sela. Love came her to stay. 2009.  ´

Outside our town are beautiful fields with barrows more than 2500 years old. In a special place near the small river two of them are covered with trees today.

When my kids were small we often walked around outside town looking for animals, utensils from the stone age and other things that might enthuse the kids. Sometimes you could the deer coming out from their shelter.

Here it is a sunny day, and I can almost hear the voices of my children talking exitedly about the things we had seen and found. I really cherish all those moments now frozen in time and memory.

   
The days of sunny youth and madness. Vallekilde by day.

Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,

Time held me green and dying

Though I sang in my chains like the sea

Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill.

 

A lot of parties were thrown at ours friend´s house just outside the tiny village of Vallekilde. Drinking, singing, shouting and discussing with the enthusiasm and folly of the rather young.

The painting is the memory of the view from a tree just outside the house called Solbakken, meaning the hill of the sun. I climbed it one day at a party in 1968 or 1969. Maybe it was the moonshine or maybe it was the very special light over the lowlands with the ripe fields, that made such a great impression on me. It is almost 50 years ago, but I can still feel the branch under me and hear the loud voices below me.

   
Memory as a treasure at the root of the tree.

 

 

Take care of all of your memories said my

friend Mick, for you cannot relive them…

Bob Dylan. Open the Door Homer. 1968.

In 1954 three young boys took their precious things, consisting of toy cars, tin soldiers and other wonders, put them it in a tin box and buried it near the foot of the tree.

We never unearthed this offering to whatever gods have guided our lives later on, and today there is a supermarket built where the tree was.

But in our memories the hidden treasures will live for ever in all the time there is. Somebody later told me, that there lived three women near the root of the tree, but that is just a story. Maybe.

Wishing you the most of luck digging up your memories.

   
When the Ironbird flies.  Au seuil des tentes toute gloire! Ma force parmi vous! Et l´idee pure comme un sel tient ses assises dans le jour.

Glory at the threshold of the tents, and my strength among you, and the idea pure as salt holds it assize in the day light.

Saint-John Perse: Anabasis. 1924

To find a symbiosis of memories and consciousness, to conquer the past and the present in a beautiful and ripe moment. To hope for reaching the place where your destiny is fulfilled. Following the path through the fields of existence

Best wishes. Sven

 

   
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