Sarah Lundberg – “The bird in me flies wherever it wants”

And Dad calls me again
She screamed but I could hear nothing
He pronounced my first name, Barta
With which Swedish rhyme hjarta : Heart

If I totally curl up, it’s up
A sleeping bird that made me want to see it
Like the clay I made today
And who will be my little gift for mom

Poetic, childish and rebellious, first line The bird in me flies wherever it wants Immediately enhance the spots, themes and metaphors of an ongoing lesson of liberation. A suffocating and authoritarian father who imposes rules, a guarantor of social rules, a loving and caring mother and a little girl who does not accept his terms and only dreams of flying. Inspired by the writings and paintings of author and designer Sarah Lundberg Berta Hanson (1910-1994), it was an opportunity both to highlight the work of a somewhat unknown artist and to tell a woman’s story, or how a little girl was able to figure it out. From a future that seemed to him to be a painter in rural Sweden in the 1920s, rejecting restrictions and customs.


Barta immediately feels a prisoner of the conditions imposed on her, which is to run a farm and raise cows before becoming a housewife. The patriarch made it clear to him that he could not dream of an existence different from all others, different from what he wanted for himself – the society of the time wanted for him. He’s not the only one, even the “brave” teacher tells him not to be smart when he refuses to fit a carrot in the middle of the line and wants to draw it differently, as he sees fit. This carrot is a bit like Barter, determined to be “as it is” at any cost.

Barta therefore escapes from the monotony and domination of trees, grass or water. For him to keep cows, to observe them, to draw them, to be in harmony with nature, and to bring to life his art and its peculiarities, as has been proved by Barter’s innate inconsistency, who likes to hold the head of a cow. This energy and this inner anger, they have to realize themselves one day, have to explode, have to channel …


Escape within oneself, daydreaming and forming a cathartic way of surviving in art, especially in a painful family environment. Hidden in the image of this loving and understanding mother for sickness and death, almost always bedridden, suffering. This mother who embodies love and loss will be the one who will persuade Barta the most not to accept. Curiously, one sentence seems to mix this feeling of death and art, as if to fight with one another, then to bring back the life of the disembodied through creation.

He had ugly black spots on his lungs. As if someone had written on charcoal.

By choosing the diary form, Sarah Lundberg organized the work of both Miss Ann Abime and Transmission. He rediscovered the Barter Diary, taking inspiration from his writings and paintings, as well as confirming his artistic identity as part of the continuation of Barter’s work. The method is subtly portrayed as feminist because it pays homage to an almost unknown artist – as was the case with many others – to carry on her lineage in a skillful way, symbolically holding the torch of all these female artists whom we loved to silence.


The paintings that accompany the text enter into complete convergence with it. Mixed gauche forms compositions, sets the tone. Often the detail seems to close off a superposition of color, as if they were made by another medium. Freedom of illustrated gestures makes nature vibrate. Cut-outs and collages reinforce the spontaneity of the images, while giving them an intimate rhythm. And then, in the continuum of drawing with the collage, a Michelangelo postcard on a desk, cutting out the close-up fashion magazines in his hand, following the evolution of Barter’s work. The page is like any other page, other pieces of paper, superimposed.


The bird in me flies wherever it wants Alternative dark and bright moments, exterior and natural splendor, are not far from the vitality of Scandinavian landscape painters. When they take on a darker texture in the house, certain boards are reminiscent of Vilhelm Hammersøi, who draws hard interiors that reflect the inner world, watching from behind the locked “heroines” whose loneliness one feels without needing to be surprised by their gaze. . But unlike the Danish painter, we always feel isolated at a distance.

There is so much to say about this great album, about this metaphorical image of a bird engraved in the title and what goes through the book. Because The bird in me flies wherever it wants Life is ultimately a story of flight and reunion with oneself when one meets one’s ideals and aspirations. There is also much to be said about the feminism that emerges from it through multiple portraits of women, mothers, sisters or narrators. The symbolic act of burning the peas will be decisive for Barter, who will seal his rebellion by sabotaging household chores, which will determine his fate. In this way Barta breaks the curse of obedient women, who say:

Housewife Housewife This is what we have to become. Julia, Guna and I. Dad wants that. Women have always been and always will be.

It is a disgrace that does not show its true colors and has perpetuated itself from generation to generation, even in its perverted name.FreedomProud to be in town like this sister, but who eventually escapes from one prison to another, leaving behind “to learn how to keep a house” to study home economics at school.

Yet Sara Lundberg’s feminism never succumbs to manicism and keeps men trapped in stereotypes, between a benevolent doctor and a father who will simply bow down to his world, his education, the products of his time, and ultimately his daughter’s cruelty.

I feel like my body will rise on my back, explode. I have only one wish: to escape, to hide. Sometimes I’d rather be an animal.

At the center of the portrait of a lonely and rebellious childhood is a sensuality that captures the face, hands or body. And this body always joins the vibrations of the world and the earth.


OhBirds fly wherever they want in me
By Sarah Lundberg
Translated from Swedish by Jean-Baptiste Coursaud
Edited by party

© All rights reserved. is a full-fledged voluntary site (Association of Law 1901) and respects copyright in respect of the work of the artists we wish to develop. The photos displayed on the site are for illustrative purposes only, not for commercial exploitation and not for cultural purposes. However, if an image is still out of our control, it will be removed immediately. We rely on the kindness and caution of every reader – anonymous, distributor, press officer, artist, photographer.
Please contact Bruno Piszorovich ( or Olivier Rasgnot (

Leave a Comment