When Göran met Linda
He wanted to be a painter. But in fact, at first, he was a butcher. Working in that capacity he soon found himself at Stora Bjurum on Hornborga Lake; a farm specialising in the rearing and breeding of beef cattle. Strangely though, working in the farm’s abattoir gave Göran a great artistic opportunity… he experienced first hand a basic course in anatomy!
Linda Magnusson’s father was the tenant farmer at Stora Bjurum, which had one of the country’s first farm shops. The fact that Linda became a chef was almost to be expected; she was born to it by living and working on the farm. In her leisure time Linda also devoted herself to her beloved horses. The horses’ stable was near the farm’s abattoir – where Göran worked.
So that was how Göran and Linda met. As a couple, for a while they lived on the farm. But eventually they began to look for their own place. They heard a rumour about a nearby farm of 15 hectares of mixed fields and forest. The farm was called Holger’s House. Holger was dead. But his brother Roland was still alive. At first Roland said he didn’t want to sell. But a month later the purchase was complete. Roland called and said that the key was hanging over the carpenter’s bench in the outhouse. A dove-grey 1965 Volvo PV 544 with a B18 engine and chrome details came along with the farm. It stood in the barn, covered with dust and straw. To help finance the house purchase, Göran and Linda exchanged their new SAAB 9000 for a rather old Volvo 240. “Nobody could have started with less”, laughs Göran. That was in 1996. Göran had always dreamed of having his own studio. Now he had one. Behind the easel above Holger’s stable he observed how the daylight shifted; when the sky changed colour over Hornborga Lake he knew that rain was on the way.
Three years later Göran had his first exhibition at home at Persberg in Hornborga. His mother used to bake cakes and make coffee at the vernissages. The old men who came weren’t content with just pictures. Coffee was essential. Linda put the coffee on and carried on the tradition. The clink of cups in the barn mixed with the sound of the horses stamping and whinnying in the stable.
And that, really, was how it all started. Linda opened the café in the barn. When summer came, she served home made cakes to tourists in the sunshine in the former dung stead. At the same time they stopped keeping horses. By now Linda was cured of her hippomania. Soon Linda also had her own ‘studio’; a fully equipped restaurant. The barn became a pub. In 2009 they extended the building to the south, and the extension today houses the new art gallery. In the meantime they also had two daughters. And things took off from there. Nothing seemed too difficult for them.
In every building on the farm, Göran transformed the concrete floors so that they looked like natural stone; a highly advanced painting technique. He has ‘laid’ five thousand stones with his brush. Even the walls bear his signature, as does the diorama in the barn. From the open stove’s upper ledge ledge a motionless boar sow watches the guests in the firelight. On the walls of the restaurant, the artist has painted scenes and views as a selection of al fresco vignettes. There are even some small trompe l’œil motifs. For example you can’t help but want to dry your hands on the checked towel near the kitchen door which is actually just a painting.
Göran and Linda have achieved a lot for their native area. When everyone else was leaving and setting off for the city, they stayed behind. But now the world comes to visit Persberg. And today Löfwings is a landmark in the district and beyond; a cultural institution which receives thousands of visitors a year.
Among the regular events are opera and classical music performances. Two years ago, Göteborg Opera performed to an audience of 2000 people on the slope above the gazebo; last year built Göteborg Baroque presented Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks with Hornborga Lake as the background.
The concept is simple; cuisine and culture in perfect harmony, food and painting, joy and beauty. It’s as easy as that.