Wallpaper Stories

Swedish mural retailer Photowall and design agency Illustratörcentrum came together to organise a unique competition that was primarily focused on discovering fresh innovation and unusual ways to depict and tell stories through wall murals. Unsurprisingly, the competition gained huge interest and the response was over 200 entries from both well known and unknown artists, some of whom are part of Sweden’s leading designer and illustrator scene. Five winning designs have been selected and are now part of a fresh collection on Photowall.

The founder of Photowall, Niklas Johanson, had this to say about the entire experience, and the entries received:
“I think you can see how the designs want to communicate – that there’s a story that the illustrator wants to convey. It’s incredibly exciting for us that the winners were chosen with an objective eye, based solely on artistic criteria.”

After testing the water in their home Sweden, Photowall is planning to run the design competition in the UK. The quality of entries in the first competition have proven the potential of new artists out there and Photowall is keen to explore talent abroad.

Designs have been carefully selected by a panel of judges. One of the winning designs, by Anna-Maria Ivstedt is a very playful piece that brings together both contemporary and retro styling in order to produce a pattern that can traverse the generations, a commentary that was reaffirmed by the panels of judges that critiqued each piece. The jury commented on how this design was a ‘modern update’ of Viola Grasten’s classic 1950s patterns.

Another wonderfully playful design, but for a completely contrasting reason, was Maria Wahlström’s notepad wall mural. The designer has taken our love to draw and placed it upon a medium that we normally refrain from doodling on. It’s a visually creative piece that will inspire and awaken creativity in children and adults alike, and allows you to fashion a story completely of your own. The Jury discussed how it was a ‘strong conceptual idea’ that worked well.

Unlike the previous entrants, the ‘Merry Maritime Map’ design by Gustaf Öhrnell really allows the observer to delve into the world of fantasy. According to the judges, the mural leads you into a dreamy like state that resonates with both timeless adventure books and whimsical films. A truly unique and exquisite design.

The next design is by Henrik Franklin and is an extremely delicate and intricate design that creates a world of surrealism from the combination of black and white shapes, meaning that you can always discover something new when observing the mural. Although it appears to be a rather eclectic display, the judges commented on how calm the flow of the images was, which in turn offers a multifaceted piece of artwork and design.

Lastly, there is Eva Lindgren’s design, ‘Cone’. This pattern and design, unlike some of the others, is extremely simple in its repetition, and yet it has a certain charm about it that can’t be overlooked or undermined. It has a depth of tangibility that is well suited to our modern digital age.