The Boy that Came out of an Egg


Solo Exhibition, Tranemo, Sweden, 5th-10th May 2014

Welcome to the 1600s in the time of giants, castles and trolls. This exhibition takes you into the world of Knös, a hero of the days of yore, who came into the world in the most mysterious way – out of an egg! But why was he brought here? Will he cross paths with the many-headed troll?’

Knös: The Boy that Came out of an Egg was an exhibition exploring a traditional Swedish fairytale about a boy called Knös. I have also illustrated the entire story and made a book of it, which you can see/order via the navigation bar under ‘Knös Book’.


With a text outside of the exhibition I explained that I wanted the audience to ‘re-visit the imagination from childhood’ and start to ask questions again, not just accept things as they are, but to ask: why? I also informed them that I was presenting questions about each of the illustrations for them to answer. The intention of this was that they would use their imagination and come up with their own answers to the questions.

And after that followed four illustrations printed on canvas and accompanied by a short quote from the story and a questions to answer, in both English and Swedish, along with the sculpture in the centre and the animation projected at the back.

 Illustration #1illsutration

‘Once upon a time there was a poor widow, who found an egg under a pile of brush as she was gathering kindlings in the forest. She took it and placed it under a goose, and when the goose had hatched it, a little boy slipped out of the shell. The widow had him baptized Knös, and such a lad was a rarity; for when no more than five years old he was grown, and taller than the tallest man.’

Question: Where did the egg come from?

 Illustration #2


‘Once upon a time, when the king was sailing out at sea, a sea troll had called up a terrible tempest, so that the ship was about to sink. In order to escape with his life, the king had to promise the sea troll to give him whatever first came his way when he reached shore. The king thought his hunting dog would be the first to come running to meet him, as usual; but instead his three young daughters came rowing out to meet him in a boat.’

Question: How did the troll raise a tempest?

 Illustration #3


“Knös, is that you?” asked the troll.
“Yes,” said Knös.
“Haul me ashore!” said the troll.
“Pay out the cable,” said Knös.
Knös had his sword of fifteen hundredweights at his side, and with it he cut off all the troll’s heads.

Question: Why did the troll need fifteen heads?

  Illustration #4illsutration4

‘Knös took the princess back to the royal palace, and O, how happy every one was! The other princesses recognized Knös again, for they had woven silk ribbons into his hair when they had combed it; but he could only marry one of the princesses, whichever one he preferred, so he chose the youngest.’

Question: Why did Knös choose to marry the youngest princess?


 To get a clearer idea of the installation and see the animation in action, watch the video below: