Sven-Åke Ekberg

The sculptor Sven Åke Ekberg was born in 1946 in Rörum, Sweden. Staying true to his Österlen roots, he has lived among the apple trees in southern Sweden for the whole of his life.


Heating everyday iron wire until it becomes malleable, he then forms this into shapes upon which to build from both the inside and out. Small iron clippings are melted and welded to these until characters engaged in various kinds of activities emerge.

A lanky young fellow lifts some scrap high above his head. A girl in a short skirt reaches all the way down to her toes so that you can almost feel the stretch in the backs of her thighs. A man in a long coat balances steadily on a sturdy iron nail. On another grey nail stands, rather less certainly, a woman in high heels carrying a handbag. A girl rides by on her bicycle, a bouquet of tulips clamped onto her cycle rack. The activities and forms of body language are seemingly endless and, in each case, expressed with a palpable sense of humour. His work includes, for instance, old pitchforks which have been transformed into candelabra. There is a richness of detail; some elements, such as ties and flowers, have been painted red, which, at least in my own mind, encourages me to continue adding colour to these grey iron miniatures.

There is also considerable variation in the positioning of these small figures. Sometimes they are placed in groups, sometimes as solo. Some sculptures stand directly on a podium whereas others are placed on the head of a nail. In some cases, figures balance on the shanks of nails sticking out of the wall. Other tiny characters hang from ceilings or are attached to walls using transparent neon wire. Everything has been thought out with great care according to the artist’s vision of his figures.