Roundabout dog

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Roundabout dog on the huge Vallarondellen roundabout (300m in diameter), in Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden
Roundabout dog on the Piccotts End roundabout in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK

A roundabout dog (Swedish: rondellhund, originally Östgötsk rondellhund, "Östergötland roundabout dog", a pun on västgötaspets) is a form of street installation, that began occurring in Sweden during the autumn of 2006, and continued for the rest of the year with sporadic occurrences since then. The phenomenon consists of anonymous people placing homemade dog sculptures, typically made of wood (or sometimes plastic, metal or textile) in roundabouts (traffic circles). Occurrences were reported all over Sweden, and the phenomenon also spread to other countries, such as Spain after it was mentioned on Spanish television (PuntoDos).[1] Swedish tabloid paper Expressen even placed one at Piccadilly Circus.[2]

History[edit]

The roundabout dogs started appearing in Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden (and were therefore originally called: de östgötska rondellhundarna), after a sculptured dog that was part of the official roundabout installation Cirkulation II (English: Circulation II) by sculptor Stina Opitz had been vandalised and later removed. The original dog had been made of concrete,[3] and Stina Opitz was planning to make a new version of it after the vandalism,[4] when someone placed a homemade wooden dog [5] on the roundabout. The dog was given a concrete dogbone[6] by another anonymous artist. Soon after the media reported these developments, roundabout dogs started appearing in various places around the country.

Peter Nyberg (maker of the first 'Rondellhund') of Linköping told tabloid Expressen that his dogs were intended to "mock the state-employed artists, who get so much money to make sculptures that we can do just as well ourselves". In some smaller towns where there were no roundabouts, dog sculptures were placed in ordinary intersections with traffic islands.

The Swedish artist Lars Vilks made a drawing depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog. This was published in a Swedish local newspaper in July 2007. It provoked accusations of blasphemy from some Muslim groups in the Middle East. (See Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy.) The 2010 Stockholm bombings are considered to be sparked partially because of the cartoon.

In April 2007 Bjorn Andersson started building roundabout dogs in his workshop south of Stockholm. His mission is to keep rondellhund at Philanthropic Street Art level and to give a moment of enjoyment to all people traveling by car. His dogs have traveled the world to places in the USA, in Australia and in the UK.[7]

In 2009, similar dogs started appearing on some of the roundabouts in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ekstedt, Annika, Rondellhundar– nu i Spanska medier, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  2. ^ Börjesson, Robert, Rondellhundens Londonrapport, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  3. ^ Photograph, archived from the original on 2007-03-10, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  4. ^ Photograph, archived from the original on 2007-03-10, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  5. ^ Photograph, archived from the original on 2007-03-10, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  6. ^ Photograph, archived from the original on 2007-03-10, retrieved 2007-09-04 
  7. ^ Rondellhund.com, 2009, webpage: Rhund-3.
  8. ^ Georgia Anderson (14 April 2009). "You ain't nothing but a hound-about dog". Hemel Gazette. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 

External links[edit]