06 okt 2022

Artist Sara-Vide Ericson creates new Millennium cover

An art catalogue text led to a friendship that led to a book cover. Author Karin Smirnoff and artist Sara-Vide Ericson’s journey continues to take unexpected turns.

Forget about traditional crime fiction covers. The cover for Havsörnens skrik (The Sea Eagle’s Cry) by Karin Smirnoff is something completely different, and the person behind it is Sara-Vide Ericson, the brightest star of Sweden’s contemporary art scene.

It started in 2021, when Sara-Vide Ericson was the inaugural artist to be shown at the new Skellefteå Art Gallery. Sara-Vide contacted Karin Smirnoff to enquire if she would consider writing an essay for the exhibition catalogue. Karin accepted and went on to depict, in prose and poetry, the feeling the art evoked in her.

When Karin Smirnoff, in turn, asked if Sara-Vide would consider creating a painting for the cover of Havsörnens skrik (The Sea Eagle’s Cry), Sara-Vide – herself a voracious reader of suspense novels – was honored to take on the task.

“In the painting The Passenger, a suspension bridge twists over black water like a helix in the night, or a DNA spiral from the past to the future. Setting foot on the bridge requires all your balance, strength and presence to continue forward. Because being out there is exhausting, violent and deafening – amid the silence. Will it carry your weight? Who do you become once you reach the other side? The spectator, like the protagonist, is exposed to rhythm, external forces and their own place in history. Just like when painting or writing. In that movement, you oscillate between being the eagle that stretches its wingspan and the prey caught in its talons,” says Sara-Vide Ericson.

“Book covers are an art form in themselves. Most crime novels look alike, but this one stands out. Sara-Vide’s art is always evocative and exciting. It’s also great fun that we can collaborate in different ways by combining our modes of expression,” says Karin Smirnoff.

On Saturday 24 September, the cover was shown publicly for the first time, at the Gothenburg Book Fair. In its original form, the painting The Passenger (oil on canvas, 150×230 cm, 2022) is part of a larger exhibition of Sara-Vide Ericson’s work, on view at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen until 29 October 2022.

Miroslav Sokcic is behind the cover design. Havsörnens skrik (The Sea Eagle’s Cry) will be released on 4 November 2022.