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Book cover to "Jag reser i andetaget av nu"

Book cover to Bo Gustavsson’s poems "Jag reser i andetaget av nu." (In Swedish only).

Publishers Ekström & Garay, 2021,

ISBN number: 9 789 189 308 930.

Book cover to "Den osynliga staden"

2020: Book cover to Bo Gustavsson’s book "Den osynliga staden"

Published by Styx 2020.

ISBN number: 978 91 85747 83 2

Numerical symbolism

5: a houseful of children.

One in each corner and one in the middle. (Welsh saying. In Merioneth, ‘a houseful of children’ was defined as 5—one in each corner and one in the middle. According to Mrs. Elwyn Davies, 5 Llanbryn-mair, Merioneth, Wales.)

Numerical symbolism

5: the five senses—but we have a sixth..

Numerical symbolism

1+3+7+9 Rings. (Tolkien)

Numerical symbolism

3 : perfect, 7 : divine. 7+3 = perfect divinity

Numerical symbolism

666: ultimate evil (Nero).

Numerical symbolism

3+3+1: 7. Book of Durrow, folio 3 verso.

Numerical symbolism

5: parts of the world: North, South, West, East and Middle. (Celtic Cosmos.)

Numerical symbolism

13: baker’s dozen.

Numerical symbolism

7: seven kinds of cookies.

Book cover to "Venus Efter METOO"

2019: Book cover to Bo Gustavsson’s poems ‘Venus efter Metoo’ (Venus after Metoo).

Published by Alhambra 2019.

ISBN number: 978-91-8771-08-8

Book cover to "Din vita tystnad MEDIUM"

Book cover to Din vita tystnad MEDIUM, by Bo Gustavsson, Swedish poet and author, 2018.

ISBN number: 978 91 85747 68 9

Published by Styx förlag.

Book cover to "Höst i Berlin"

Book cover to Höst i Berlin, by Bo Gustavsson, Swedish poet and author, 2015.

Published by

Book cover to "Nemesis Nu"

Book cover to Nemesis Nu (Nemesis Now) by Bo Gustavsson, Swedish poet and author, 2015.

A collection of poems including the Mark of Cain suite. Published by, January 2016. Poems at moment only in Swedish.

Igaranhâ, The Enchanted Canoe

A legend of the Kamaiurá people who live in the Xingu-Amazon region of South America.

A man was making a new canoe in the forest when his wife gave birth to their first child. As was customary, he stayed home the first weeks, and then went back to find the canoe, worrying it would have decayed in the meantime.
Arriving at the place, he suddenly saw the canoe walking towards him and going down to the river. It had acquired eyes, one on each side of the prow. As soon as it hit the water, fish began to jump into it. These the canoe gave to the man. It then left the water and went back to where it had been made.
The man’s wife was very surprised with his catch and wondered where he could have found so many fish. He replied that he had found an excellent spot.
A few days later he went back to the canoe and got in. It moved off to the river at once. Yet again fish jumped into the canoe. But when the man began to gather up the fish the canoe swallowed him!
It was angry because the first fish were meant for the canoe itself. The man had been too eager. At home his wife waited in vain for her husband.

Kaietuk, Metamorphosis

An Awawak legend from Guyana, South America, tells of the old Chief, Kaietuk, who one day saw the famous swallows who build their nests behind the mighty waterfalls on the Potaro River. He took this as a sign that he ought to sacrifice himself to Makonaima, the Great Spirit, for the sake of his tribe.

He therefore collected all his things together in a canoe and in full chieftain dress sat himself in the canoe and let it drift over the edge of the falls.

But Makonaima had not intended him to die, and turned him and his canoe instead into stone and there he stands to this day at the foot of the falls which now bear his name, ‘Kaieteur’, i.e. The Old Man’s Falls.

This painting represents the transition from flesh and wood to stone. Now privately owned. See also a representation of the stone canoe as a sculpture.

Kaietuk 1

A three-dimensional representation of Kaietuk and his canoe after his metamorphosis into stone.

Kanassa 1, Stingray

Kanassa is part of the mythology of the Kuikuru people who live by the Xingu River in Brazil. He is credited with bringing fire to people and with being a creator god.

In the beginning Kanassa could see nothing because it was dark. He drew a stingray in the mud by the edge of the water, but because it was dark, he inadvertently stepped on it. It immediately whipped its tail round and stung him and then disappeared into the water. Angry and hurt he said: "I just created her and already she has wounded me. It is all the fault of the firefly which gives no light."

This is my "fossil" version of the Stingray. See the continuation of the story with the Fire Snake.

Kanassa 2, Fire Snake

Kanassa is part of the Kuikiuru peoples’ mythology. After being wounded by the Stingray, he decided to visit the king of the Vultures, Ugwvu-cuengo, who was the lord of fire. Kanassa devised a ruse to grab the legs of one of the vultures and force it to bring down a glowing piece of coal from heaven. The Frogs in the lagoon tried to put out the fire by spitting water at it but the holy light did not disappear and a Snake helped Kanassa to carry the fire to safety away from the water. He then gave fire to the people.

This is my interpretation of the snake carrying the fire to safety with the frogs trying to extinguish it.

Kononatoo 2, Interruption

The Warau people live in Guyana, South America. According to their beliefs the god Kononatoo (‘Our Creator’) wanted people to live in Heaven.

One day a young hunter discovered a hole in the ground of Heaven. Curious as to what lay below, he and everyone else climbed down through the hole to the Earth. But when a fat woman stuck in the hole, they could not return and have lived on the Earth ever since. However, while on Earth, they behaved so badly Kononatoo decided not to arrange for a new hole back to Heaven.

This is my version of the poor woman who stuck in the hole. See also the continuation of the story with Sacred Lagoon.

Kononatoo 3, Sacred Lagoon

Continuing the myth of the Warau people of Guyana, South America, the people on Earth persisted in behaving badly. Two girls swam unlawfully in a Sacred Lagoon, resulting in one of them becoming pregnant by a Water God and giving birth to snakes. All the snakes of the Earth are descended from these. The myth also explains why the Warau are extremely unwilling to swim.

This is my version of the swimming expedition.

Kururumani, Ant God

The Arawak people who live around the Orinoco River in South America believe/d that Kururumani created men while Kulimina created women. From the beginning Kururumani can have been an earth-building ant god, while over him there was a god with no particular function. This is my interpretation of Kururumani in several aspects. The patterns are taken from the body painting of the Amerindians. The top figures center and right are privately owned.

Kulimina, Ant Goddess

The Arawak people who live around the Orinoco River in South America believe/d that Kururumani created men while Kulimina created women. From the beginning Kururumani can have been an earth-building ant god, while over him there was a god with no particular function. This is my interpretation of Kulimina.

This piece is privately owned.

Boraro and Vai-Mahse, Forest Spirits

Vai-Mahse (’Lord of Animals’) is regarded by the Tukano living in the Upper Amazon as the most important forest spirit. A dwarf with a red-painted body, he rules over all game animals, fish in the rivers, herbs under the trees. Some hillocks are dedicated to him and people avoid angering him. He carries a short red staff which is a lethal weapon.
He is excessively interested in fertility which explains his unkindness towards pregnant women whom he makes sick—because he is not the cause of their pregnancy.

Boraros (‘the White Ones’) are tall with hairy breasts and enormous phalluses. Their ears point forwards and their feet backwards. With no knee joint they have difficulty in getting up again should they fall down. Should you see a Boraro carrying a stone hoe, you may be sure he is looking for someone to devour.

Am I my Brother’s Keeper?, The Mark of Cain-front

From poems by Swedish author Bo Gustavsson. Text only in Swedish. Published 2016 in Nemesis Nu. Illustrated as rooms in a building, here with the front door.

From left to right:

"Kainsmärket Am I my brother’s keeper?
Med Kainsmärkets hemlig tecken.."
(The Mark of Cain. Am I my brother’s keeper?
With the secret Mark of Cain..)
No. 24, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"I pannan precis under hårfästet.."
(On my forehead, just under the roots of my hair..)
No.1, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"Kain är vår anfader. Brodermordet, rastlösheten.."
(Cain is our forefather. The fratricide, the restlessness..)
No. 19, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"Nej, ingen återvändo finns till tiden.."
(No, there is no returning to the time..)
No.10, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

The Mark of Cain, Am I my Brother’s Keeper - back

From poems by Swedish author Bo Gustavsson. Text only in Swedish. Published 2016 in Nemesis Nu. Illustrated as rooms in a building, here with the back door.

From left to right:

"Våldet och hatet är Kains arv till alla tider.."
(Violence and hatred are Cain’s legacy to all times..)
No. 17, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"Den som dör under sköldarna, den som dör under stridsvagnshjulen,.."
(He who dies under the shields, he who dies under the wheels of the tanks,..)
No.18, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"Och ändå, ändå dör aldrig Abel.."
(And yet, and yet Abel never dies..)
No. 11, Nemesis Nu, 2016.

"Av de tre grundidéerna för samhällsbygge—.."
(Of the three basic ideas of social structure--..)
No.23, Nemesis Nu, 2016

Guaraní Cosmos, most parts of South America

Our Elder Brother: an Apapocuva tribal legend.
In the beginning there was only darkness and the Eternal Bats fought in the night. Our Great Father created himself and then created the world which he placed on the Eternal Cross (a tripod). With him there was a companion, Our Omniscient Father.

Our Great Father created Our Mother, whom he shared generously with his subordinates. Our Mother produced the Twins, Our Elder Brother and our Younger Brother, the former with the Creator and the latter, who was weak and stupid, with the Creator’s companion.

Our Mother was killed by the Jaguars and was revenged on them by the Twins.
Our Elder Brother is still to be found in the zenith where he watches over people in a somewhat vague manner. He will take part in the destruction of the World by pulling away one of the legs of the tripod on which our world rests. Then the Bats and the Jaguar will annihilate the world and all its inhabitants.

This image is mixed with our concept of the finite, closed Universe.

Mosetene Cosmos, Bolivia, Eastern Lowlands

Dohit created the Earth as a flat raft which floats in space but is held up by spirits. The Earth-raft is surrounded by the Universe. Dohit created people out of the red clay of the Earth. Once, the sky fell down but it was lifted back in place and is held there by a giant snake.

The Milky Way was created in this way:
A tiny snake was fed on birds’ hearts. Its father was the foremost hunter of the Mosetene. The snake grew, soon it was as large as an arm. It demanded more and more hearts. Soon it had to leave the hut and there were no more birds left in the forest. The father offered it jaguar hearts, soon there were no jaguars left. Then it wanted human hearts. The hunter decimated the surrounding villages till he was surprised and killed by villagers. The snake surrounded the guilty village and the villagers shot all their arrows at it. The snake continued to grow. No one survived. The snake took charge of its father’s body and grew upwards. There he can be seen, billowing, peppered with shining arrows and wandering through the night sky.

Taé, Tukano Cosmos, North-Western Amazon region

The Upper World:

Divided into two layers beneath the stars.
The top layer is inhabited by beings resembling the Tukano but who have different conditions.
The second layer is where the goddess Taé (Our Mother) lives, together with the righteous souls.
In order to reach the second layer, souls must pass through a gate made of wooden poles which move back and forth in opposite directions. These reject souls who have committed incest, killed babies, other murderers and wicked sorcerers. If a wicked soul should slip in anyway, Taé releases two monsters to destroy it or else she sends it back to earth in the form of a little frog where it eventually dies.
Taé is not omnipotent, she can make mistakes. She is not the creator nor a cultural hero. Neither demon, tree spirit, priest or shaman.
The Tukano have great respect for Taé especially for her role as mistress of that part of the soul they call naáë (thought, reason).

The Earth

The Nether World:

Regions below the earth, hápi, can be reached by caves. These regions are filled with demons which in themselves are mortal but dangerous. There are human-like beings with peculiar defects: blind, dwarfs, without arms. Dyévae, gigantic animals and snakelike animals are also here. Some can cause dangerous maelstroms though the shamans on earth can subdue these. In the East is the rainbow of the "Master of Fishes", while a rainbow in the West is the "Master of the Clay Pots".

Tukano Cosmos, Colombia

Father Sun created the Cosmos with his yellow light. His light permeates everything on Earth. The Earth marí turí (our level) is formed as a colossal flat disc. Here live all humankind, animals, all things that have life. This level is red which is the colour of fertility as is the life blood of all beings. The Earth is also called vexhámaxa turí (the upper level), because under the Earth is another world, doxámaxa turí (the lower level). Its colour is green and it is to this world the spirits of the deceased go provided they have been good during their lives. This world is also called axpikon-diá (paradise). In Axpikon-diá in the east is a great lake and all the rivers of the Earth run into it because the rivers run towards the East. In this way, Axpikon-diá is connected with our Earth via the waters of the rivers. Seen from below, from Axpikon-diá, our Earth resembles a gigantic spider’s web. The ‘web’ is transparent and the Sun sees through it. The threads of the web are, so to say, guiding principles for people to follow. Above our Earth, Sun created the Milky Way.

WaíWai Cosmos, Guyana region

The WaíWai live in their Cosmos. Their buildings are constructed as an image of the Cosmos, with the Underworld (green), the Earth (orange-red) and the three Heavens (blue). Each level is a place where various powers exist which the WaíWai try to control. With up to fifteen families in each building, each family has its own segment, with the men’s hammocks at the top, then the wife and below them the children. These represent the horizontal planes of the Universe. Death sees the soul divided into several different spirits. Some take the shape of animals: threatening, invisible spirits. The "Age spirit" rises up to the first heaven, which is a place of light, beauty and immortality where everyone dances and feasts continuously.

Yanomamö Cosmos, river regions of the Amazon

The Yanomamis spiritual belief is that the Cosmos consists of four parallel planes or levels.
Plane 1 is empty—once inhabited by ancient beings who moved down to lower planes (blue-black).
Plane 2 is Heaven or Hedu, the home of the sprits of the dead. Resembles the Earth, but with better hunting etc. (Blue)
Plane 3 is the Earth. (Orange-red)
Plane 4 is the Underworld, under the earth, where ancient sprits, the Amahi-teri live who can hurt living people. (Green and dark green).

The Yanomami practise endocannibalism, by cremating and consuming their dead relatives.

This image is my interpretation of their Cosmos mixed with our concept of the bent Universe.


More than just Mushrooms (Mer än Karljohan)

(Project between artists and scientists at the Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, Sweden, 2013)


Mycelial Charts

Petal Joan Roberts, 2013

Five images tracing the journey of plants and fungi from the sea to the land and beyond (most likely we are transferring them to out space with our trips there!). The ‘horizon’ in the images represents a time line. Nos. 1 and 2 represent a passage of millions of years. Nos. 3-5 shorter periods, only decades long, if that.

Mycelial Charts 1

No 1: And plants shall grow where no seed shall be sown. Ragnarok.

(In the saga of Ragnarok, the end is not the end. Some survive and life begins anew.)

Mycelial Charts 2

No. 2: Njambi’s gift: a mighty house. Lele people, Zaïre, Africa.

(For the Lele, the forest was the mightiest gift of their gods as it provided them with all they needed.)

Mycelial Charts 3

No. 3: Whatsoever a man soweth…

Mycelial Charts 4

No. 4: …that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

Mycelial Charts 5

No. 5: The Sun recommended mankind to watch over Creation, to protect it and to procure fertility for Life. Tukano people, South America.

Domus serpulae lacrymantis
(The Dry Rot House)

Imagine that a house has been completely devoured by dry rot and all that is left is the shape of the house comprised completely of the dry rot fungus, serpula lacrymans….

Shown at the exhibition More than just Mushrooms (Mer än Karljohan)

Domus serpulae lacrymantis
(The Dry Rot House)

Imagine that a house has been completely devoured by dry rot and all that is left is the shape of the house comprised completely of the dry rot fungus, serpula lacrymans….

Shown at the exhibition More than just Mushrooms (Mer än Karljohan)