Street art on building in Borås Artist: JM Rizzi Photo: Marie Ullnert/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedish Street Art: No Limit & Artscape Festival Borås

When you think of Swedish cities, the usual suspects might come to mind like Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg or Lund. If you haven’t followed my posts so far, when I mention Borås, you might think “what” or “where”? Well Borås is the city where I’m currently studying!

Borås is well known for a rich textile history, housing the Swedish School of Textiles and the river Viskan which was central to Sweden’s textile’s trade. Are you curious about why the University of Borås might be your ideal study destination? Read Angelina’s blog here!  Textiles and fashion aside, there’s another eye catching and unexpected reason this city is surprisingly special.

Mural in golden autumn landscape in Norrby suburb

Artist: Vickan (2020) / Photo: Lusanda / Mural in golden autumn landscape in Norrby suburb

Geometric mural

Artist: Simple (2014) / Photo: Lusanda

Magical, colourful and impressive street art!

For a smaller city, you’ll feel surprised by how many stunning murals you stumble on just walking 10 mins away to grab some groceries. Trust me, the bright colours are a much-needed contrast to harsh and gloomy weather in the winter, and in the summer, it makes warm sunny days even sweeter for your eyes.

Panoramic view of Borås cityscape with colourful abstract mural by JM Rizzi

Artist: JM Rizzi (2017) / Photo: Lusanda / Panoramic view of Borås cityscape

Portrait of woman swimming in purples and blues

Artist: Natalia Rak (2014) / Photo: Lusanda

Mural of hyper-realistic balloon whale swimming in litter

Artist: Huge (2020) / Photo: Lusanda

Are these legal?

Yes! Street artists from around the world are invited by the No Limit Street Art Festival to transform the city with some gorgeous public art.

Boldly coloured mural with text "When I'm free"

Artist: Lakwena Maciver (2017) / Photo: Lusanda

Photo realistic mural with illusion of man painting the sky onto a building

Artist: Lonac (2017) / Photo: Lusanda / The murals can be massive

Why is it called No Limit? It’s partly inspired from the urban art and graffiti roots of street art BUT it’s the next level, because the artists don’t submit any sketches or ideas to the organisers before they start. Artists are given a large wall as a canvas and that’s it. So what gets painted is a mystery to everyone, and there’s literally no limits to what can be made! It makes for an impressive variety of art styles.

Colourful and childlike sculptures of mammals

Artist: Tim Timmey (2020)/ Photo: Lusanda / Sculptures are also part of the No Limit Festival

Graphic comic book inspired mural outside Borås newspaper office

Artist: Tristan Eaton (2015) / Photo: Lusanda / This is outside the Borås Tidning (Newspaper) office

Realistic black and white mural of elderly man with text "Moments of Life"

Artist: ECB (aka Hendrik ecb Beikirch, 2014) / Photo: Lusanda

Abstract mural with contrasting stripes of rust, white and mint

Artist: Peeta (aka Manuel Di Rita, 2014) / Photo: Lusanda

The first festival was held in 2014 and it’s not annual – the last one was held in 2017. I’ve been happy standing and staring at the art from previous years, but 2020 had a surprise in store (this is a good one, I promise).

Photorealistic portrait of woman surrounded by flowers

Artist: Korallpionen & Rickman 1 (2020) / Photo: Lusanda / The artists worked together on this to blend different art styles together

2020 Right Time, Right Place

In 2020, No Limits collaborated with Artscape to bring the festival back at just the right time. I was in the city for the entire 2020 festival AND Norrby (my neighborhood) was chosen for all the new art, so it was the perfect time and place for me! That week was the perfect surprise after spending weeks indoors working and stressing, to take a break by strolling, staring and falling in love with my neighborhood in a new way. It was seriously one of my personal highlights during a very difficult and depressing year, and proves the best adventures are often the ones you don’t expect! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Artist: Delicious Brains (aka Kim Demåne, 2020) / Photo: Lusanda

Colourful mural of cute and playful animalistic creature

Artist: Vickan (2020) / Photo: Lusanda

Bright blue and orange mural of musical instruments at sunset

Artist: Appear37 (2020)/ Photo: Lusanda / mural of musical instruments at sunset

Colourful and animated mural of character riding a teacup surrounded by glowing leaves

Artist: Q (2020)/ Photo: Lusanda /

Stroll and Stare

The festival also sold walking tours in a variety of languages, or you could follow the signs and show yourself around (I chose the free option, because I’m cheap and I like showing myself around).

Signs and maps for guided tour of the No Limits Street Art Borås Festival 2020

Photo: Lusanda / Signs and maps to guide you during the walking tour of the 2020 Festival

People standing and looking at a mural

Artist: Korallpionen & Rickman 1 (2020) / Photo: Lusanda / It’s fun to see people walking around on tours during the festival

Miraculously, after weeks of clouds, the skies parted to radiant sunlight, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. People were in a friendly mood, and I had some lovely conversations with visitors and the artists themselves.

Artist: Delicious Brains (aka Kim Demåne, 2020) / Photo: Lusanda / During the festival I got to meet and chat to some of the artists

Women walking a dog in front of mural in Norrby

Artist: Q (2020)/ Photo: Lusanda / My neighborhood Norrby

There were also collaborative workshops for all ages and skill levels, which really brought out a feeling of community. I ended a wonderful and stimulating day of being a tourist taking hundreds of photos in my town with the cherry on top – free hot dogs, an outdoor hip hop party and an open graffiti wall where I left my own (terrible) mark.

Woman spray painting on graffiti wall

Photo: Nikita / Lusanda attempting to make graffiti on public art wall in Borås

Photo: Lusanda / Free Hotdogs from graffiti workshop in Borås

If you ever find yourself in Borås, make sure to walk around and see how many murals you find along the way. There’s a total of 44 artists who have contributed since the festival began in 2014, so there’s plenty to drop your jaw at. You can read more about the artists from the entire history of the festival here!

Washed out mural of person wearing dungarees and flower crown

Artist: Inti – Hand Labor (2015) / Photo: Lusanda

Painting of child fishing in a boat on Borås Viskan River bank

Artist: Joe Iurato (2015) / Photo: Lusanda / Illusion mural of fishing boat on Viskan river bank

Brightly coloured mural in Borås city centre

Artist: Eduardo Kobra (2014) / Photo: Lusanda / Borås City Centre

I could only show you a small glimpse here, but there’s so many more magnificent artworks to discover when you come to Borås. Keep reading more blogs about what to eat, see and do in Borås  here, and second hand shopping in the city here.

Hej då!

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Lusanda

Hello! Hej! Sawubona! I am very excited to be in Sweden and to be part of the Study in Sweden team! It's been a couple of years since I started telling my friends at home in South Africa about my crazy idea to study in this beautiful country so it's honestly a dream come true to be here! I am passionate about many forms of creative expression, including drawing, dancing and singing but to summarize - fashion is my discipline, music is my love, and cooking is my therapy. I'm very eclectic and love contrasting flavours, styles, sights and sounds so I'm always open to new experiences, and they're even better when I get to share them with my friends and of course, with YOU! All of these elements and the breathtaking nature, quality of education and opportunity to engage with sustainability and innovative solutions is what attracted me to Sweden. I'm eternally grateful to the Swedish Institute - they awarded me the scholarship that helped to make this once in a lifetime adventure come to life! It's my first time travelling outside of Africa so I'll be learning a lot and I'm happy to answer any questions through the blog or our instagram page to the best of my knowledge. Stay tuned and let's learn together!
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