Art in nature by the Polar Circle


What do the bricks mean? Asked one fellow blogger who had been seeing the picture above in my photo gallery from Nordland, a county up north that I recently visited. The bricks is not a memorial. It is one of 33 artworks. One in 32 different municipalities in Nordland, and one in Troms. Artscape Nordland (Skulpturlandskap Nordland) is an international art project with 33 artists from 18 different countries that aims to bring art to where the people live. Since art museums are few and far apart in this sparsely populated area by the Polar Circle. Above is the sculpture Beacon (Varden in Norwegian) by the danish artist Per Kirkeby. It is a building meant to give time for reflection and tranquility. The view is spectacular.

Skulpturpark Nordland, i Vendesund, Sømna kommune

This sculpture Hai-Ku-Badekar by Irish artist Dorothy Cross is the muncipality of Sømna’s contribution to the Artscape Nordland project. The work consists of three parts, each of which gives many associations – and in their combination a whole new story are meant to arise. This is one of the three part of the sculpture.


Alstahaug’s contribution to Artscape Nordland is “House of Winds” (Vindenes hus) by sculptor Sissel Tolaas, which was unveiled in 1994. She was inspired to create a work of art that plays on the natural elements.  Situated near Helgeland bridge. Tolaas is a Norwegian artist living in Berlin.


Protractus by Kristján Gudmundson (1993), looks like a rock protractor (tool for measuring angles) standing in Skjerstad in Bodø municipality, that is near the outer end of Misfjorden. Its height is 3.16 meters. The artist from Island is said to mean that the historical references that are in the landscape and the idea of ​​a protractor, establishes a dimension of time that brings us beyond the here and now.

Skulptur av Ingunn Utsi fra Finnmark, Hattfjelldaldias

This wooden sculpture is not part of Artscape Nordland, but you find it in the same county, and for me it definitely have some of the same effect. It is made by the sámi artist Ingunn Utsi who belong to the indeginous people of Norway. It is called Påminnelsen (The Reminder) and you find it by the mountain Kruttfjellet in Hattfjelldal.


“The Man from the Sea” (Havmannen in Norwegian) is a granite stone sculpture by the British artist Antony Gormley. It is 11 metres tall, weighs 60 tonnes and was created and erected in the fjord by the city of Mo in Rana in 1995. Causing controversy and much debate in the local media. The controvery is probably long gone now. More photos in my Artscape Nordland photo gallery. I have not seen all, but there are some information on all 33 projects on this link.

46 thoughts on “Art in nature by the Polar Circle

  1. I thought that last one looked like an Antony Gormley! I love the quiet reflective, mysterious quality of his works, especially those looking out over water. Do you know the ones at Crosby, near Liverpool?


  2. Vida vyer kan ibland vara hissnande. De här konstverken tycker jag hjälper till med den känslan. Hur fotografen har förevigat dem på bild är naturligtvis avgörande i de här fallen.


  3. Interesting…and for the most part enjoyable and creative. Outdoor art and sculptures are fun and in some cases inspiring, blending so well with the location the shape of the land, etc. But may be its just me but some outdoor art features just seem so out of place….they don’t fit. For me the bricks is the odd one out.


  4. Interesting. Some are more sympathetic to the landscape than others. These landscapes are such great backdrops…..


  5. The sculptures are all quite interesting, Bente. You have presented them well along with the accompanying descriptions. In the US there is an artist, Peter Wolf Toth, who has traveled the country making wood sculptures of Native Americans out of trees trunks using a chainsaw in protest of their treatment. They are found along traveled roads and, in most cases, have been well cared for.
    Your landscapes are all so impressive there and it is enjoyable seeing your images of them.


  6. i love some of the installations…the pictures were great and i think it is a brilliant idea to have installations like these,where people can connect with art..thanx bente…


  7. Beautiful photos Bente, and very interesting post.
    I particularly like Gormley’s ‘Man’ that seems to have been standing there forever (great idea, your black and white), the Irish ‘Hai-Ku-Badekar’, intriguing and softly mixing in the landscape, and this wonderful Saami sculpture by Ingunn Utsi.
    I looked her up, she is imaginative and makes expressive sculptures (I also like the turquoise pebbles in this one; it looks like the artist tells a story). Thank you for sharing this, Lou


  8. Interesting to see some British artists in a different context – I am a big fan of Anthony Gormley but have not managed to see his seaside people yet. Some pieces always work better than others in these projects. I like the Sami one too.


      1. I had searched before I asked, but found no reference to it in any of the material relating to the artist.

        The “taking better care of nature” seems a bit strange . . . all of those art pieces are there primarily to entertain people, and they do so by intruding in what are natural landscapes. I would have thought a good reminder would have been not to put anything there in the first place.

        A better guess might be a reminder that we shape, change, mold everything around us to our will, desire, and need. The artists wanted to put their mark on the landscape, probably to have others remember them. They then rationalized it by expressing some lofty altruistic goal for doing so.

        Mind you, I’m not criticising them. I like the pieces for what they are . . . expressions of human imagination.


      2. I used to interview artists and they rarely want to explain their work. Some said that as artist words were not their tools. Persanally I don’t see art as entertainment, even if they might have that effect too. I see you are doing your own interpretation, great.


  9. Oh how nice that you show some more of the art in the North. I know the Vindenes hus but not the others. Maybe I can visit them on another trip. Ha en kjempefin dag. 😀


  10. I just love how they decided to place artwork right out in nature! Not like we don’t do it in cities, but I think this setting is absolutely awesome. My husband is an artist who sculpts. We have his statues all over our yard. Thanks for sharing such beauty!


    1. I think the english name for your favorie will be Shark-Cow-Bathtub. So the cow will be your favorite (since I am not shwing the rest of this work). By the way, shot with my first, 2 MB digital camera more than 10 years ago….


  11. Outstanding sculptures in amazingly beautiful settings! The ‘Reminder’ is my favourite, and I love the brick ‘Beacon’ too.


  12. The part of Hai-Ku-Badekar that you showed does indeed look like the udders of a cow, but upside down. I recognized that ku must mean cow, but I would never have been able to guess the shark and the bathtub. I could say that those two components of the name cowed me. (The English verb cow, which means ‘to intimidate, to cause to acquiesce,’ apparently comes from Old Norse kúga, which meant ‘to oppress.’)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s