Swedish Street Art: No Limit & Artscape Festival Borås


Written by Lusanda

10 Dec 2020

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!  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 on the side of a residential building.
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
Mural of a woman swimming in purple and blue water on the side of a residential building in Borås.
Artist: Natalia Rak (2014) / Photo: Lusanda
Mural of hyper-realistic balloon whale swimming in litter on the side of a residential building in Borås.
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
Photorealistic 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 on the side of the Borås newspaper office building.
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' on the side of a residential building in Borås.
Artist: ECB (aka Hendrik ecb Beikirch, 2014) / Photo: Lusanda
Abstract mural with contrasting stripes of rust, white and minton the side of a residential building.
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 on a concrete wall.
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)_/¯

An abstract mural on the side of a house in Borås.
Artist: Delicious Brains (aka Kim Demåne, 2020) / Photo: Lusanda
Colourful mural of cute and playful animalistic creature on the side of a residential building.
Artist: Vickan (2020) / Photo: Lusanda
Bright blue and orange mural of musical instruments at sunset on the side of a red-brick building.
Artist: Appear37 (2020)/ Photo: Lusanda / mural of musical instruments at sunset
Colourful and animated mural of character riding a teacup surrounded by glowing leaves on the side of a building.
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
Two men standing and looking at a mural in Borås.
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.

An artist stands on a ladder in front of the mural he is painting.
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 a mural being painted 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.

Lusanda spray painting on graffiti wall.
Photo: Nikita / Lusanda attempting to make graffiti on public art wall in Borås
A hot-dog topped with ketchup and fried onions.
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! ↗️

Washed out mural of person wearing dungarees and flower crown on the side of a residential building.
Artist: Inti – Hand Labor (2015) / Photo: Lusanda
Mural of a child fishing in a boat painted on the side of a concrete pile of a bridge in Borås.
Artist: Joe Iurato (2015) / Photo: Lusanda / Illusion mural of fishing boat on Viskan river bank
Brightly coloured mural on the side of an office building 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, and second hand shopping in the city.

Hej då!


Written by Lusanda

10 Dec 2020