Juanma González Marcos explored St. Olavsleden through a spiritual and artistic experience

“I walked St. Olavsleden to do an Artistic Research Project.”
Meet Juanma González Marcos an artist from Madrid, Spain. Currently living in Stockholm, Sweden.

I walked the route together with eight persons, in chronological order: Izabel Lïndh (artist), Annette Felleson (artist and teacher), Caroline Taracci Nilsson (writer), Erik Bryngelsson (philosopher), Josefina Malmegård (artist), Marta Gil Estremiana (artist), Aritz Soloeta Garmendia (archaeologist) and Maria Lundberg (artist and singer).

“St. Olavsleden. A Scandinavian sacred route” is a project explores the route through a spiritual and artistic experience. Sweden is the most agnostic country in the world and my question is “why then revitalise an old pilgrimage?”. And I found answers in my walk thanks to all the people I met and ‘my 8 pilgrims’.

The trip went better than expected. We only had three days of rain, there were no mosquitos, and the people we met on the way were amazing and kind. The history and the act of walking have been a discovery for me and for the people that went with me. To do a pilgrimage is a something very special, and very difficult to explain – you have to do it yourself to understand what it is.

Walking St. Olavsleden has changed me. I have had time to think about my art and my life. There are things that I am going to do in a different way. To quote Einstein: “If you are looking for different results, do not do the same thing.” During the trip I did my last artist work: W@ndering point. I have left poems along the road with my thoughts and feelings about the landscape. I wanted to share them with other pilgrims.

Some practical tips for future pilgrims: – You do not need to carry much. Your health is the most important. Make your bag as small as possible. – Take time to check the route. You will pass through villages, but not everywhere are food stores. If you come across a store, you should buy food for several days. – There is accommodation along the way. If you have money, you don’t need a tent. – You will need Norwegian and Swedish cash. There are places where they don’t accept credit cards. – Leave your problems at home. Enjoy the walk. You will be a different person when you come home.

Project website: www.stolavsleden-project.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stolavsledenproject