Island Stories 2017 / Sysne Udd

Christer Jonson

Forty-two years ago, Christer Jonson made one of the most important decisions of his life. He uprooted from his Stockholm apartment and moved to Gotland, where he built his own house by the sea on the eastern part of the island on Sysne Udd. Today, he couldn't imagine living anywhere else than here, where he shares his life with his wife, Anne Nilsson. Living here has become a lifestyle in which organic food and growing his own vegetables is an important part of everyday life. Together, they feel that they are contributing to increased responsibility for themselves and their surroundings.

Christer's house was designed in collaboration with two friends; an architect and a contractor and was built upon a basic concept that all materials should be able to be found on the beach.
– I had an idyllic childhood on Gotland, surrounded by forest strawberries, football and the scent of the sea. I spent the first sixteen years of my life here in the house and I have returned every summer since.

“The light and nature of Gotland is comforting in the world in which we live. Here on the island, we live with a sense of unity that is based on community and solidarity. Everyone makes their contribution towards keeping Östergarnslandet (as the area is called) alive and everyone is needed. Nobody is anonymous,”says Christer.

Christer's son Jonas Michanek was born in the house, and Sysne Udd has therefore always played a special role for him. Jonas works as both entrepreneur and author. He currently resides in the Västra Hamnen area of Malmö just a stone's throw from the Turning Torso, but he often returns home to Sysne Udd for weekends and holidays with his family of four.

Anne is an artist and works with several techniques, including stylus engravings, woodcuts, painting, silkscreen and concrete. She has her own studio on the grounds.