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Photo: Skulpturlandskap Nordland

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Visit nature’s own art gallery in Norway

As if the countryside in northern Norway wasn’t beautiful enough, it’s been further adorned by a group of world-famous artists.

If you travel north, an art collection drifts in and out of sight along the way, adding life to the landscape. The works of art are part of Skulpturlandskap Nordland (Artscape Nordland), an international art collection assembled between 1992 and 1998 and 2009 to 2015. The sculptures are located in 34 municipalities in northern Norway, plus one in Troms.  

“The artworks in Artscape Nordland have been created especially for the locations in which they now stand, in the beautiful northern Norway landscape. The collection reflects the way the art of sculpture has developed since around 1960,” curator Maaretta Jaukkuri says. 

The sculptures also have a special impact on the people who live here.  

Tre eldar, Mosjøen

“Why did it take you so long to get here?” “Are you alone?” “Where do you come from?” Artist Hulda Hákon (born 1956) from Iceland asks simple everyday questions – carved into granite plaques – along a path between three sculptures shaped like small, golden fires. Art critics have described the work as beautiful to view, and also a perfect spot for the observer to enjoy -moments of contemplation and reflection. The sculptures are in a little park in Mosjøen, a town of some 9,600 residents.Installed in 1997 by Nordland Fylkeskommune. Material: Coated stainless steel, granite plaques, flowers.

Tre eldar, Mosjøen

Mosjøen, Norway

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Lyngvær in the municipality of Vågan

This work of concave glass captures and reflects the light and the image of the surrounding sea and mountains. Artist Dan Graham (born 1942) from the US, personally chose the location for the artwork, by the ferry point in Lyngvær, some 25km west of Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands. The place was already popular with many artists, and there’s also an art college and festival here. Sketches for the work were done by the artist, while architect Per Morten Wik produced the final drawings. A local company, Bodø Glass & Ramme, produced parts of the construction. As you can actually step inside the sculpture, the work has been nicknamed “The Shower Cubicle” by locals.Installed in 1996 by Nordland Fylkeskommune. Material: Two-way mirror glass, stainless steel

Lyngvær

Lyngvær

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Syv magiske punkter (Seven Magical Points), Skånland

“I can see how wonderfully it will merge into a beautiful summer evening with the midnight sun,” local newspaper Fremover wrote about this circular sculpture cast in iron. That’s an understatement. The relief on the waterfront is like a reflection or shadow of the disc of the sun. This was also the intention of Finnish artist Martti Aiha (born 1952).“Nature here is wonderful and rugged. A sculpture can never compete with the landscape, which is why I want Seven Magical Points to enter into a silent dialogue with nature,” Aiha said to Fremover.The sculpture is 10km north of Evenskjær.Installed in 1994 by Nordland Fylkes-kommune. Material: Relief of iron, two-part sculpture.

Havmannen, Mo i Rana

The 10m-tall man, shaped in granite, stands with his back to the town, looking out over the dark fjord. The work was created by British artist Antony Gormley (born 1950). He has stated that his artworks are more about mental states than activities, and that he wants mankind to envision his art as spaces for realization. He’s probably succeeded here. Havmannen has become an important symbol for the local community and contributed to increased cultural activity in this industrial town, most notably in the form of the annual Havmannen Days arranged here. The statue has also become a natural assembly point on 22 July, the day of the Utøya tragedy, when a 16-year old girl from the town lost her life.Installed in 1995 by Nordland Fylkes-kommune. Material: Granite

Il Nido (The Nest), Røst

The two discs carved from Roman columns rest against each other like wings, and form a nest. Inside the nest are three stone eggs protected by the wings.Luciano Fabro (1936-2007) from Milan felt that humans had lost intimate contact with nature. The marble in The Nest was a symbol of the meaning of nature in art. Ironically enough, for the sake of seabirds, the work was originally installed at Øran in Røstlandet, before it was moved to its final location on Vedøya.Installed: 1994 by Nordland Fylkeskommune. Material: Carrara marble

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