norway in a nutshell, part one

November 25, 2007

so we’re back from norway…wow! there’s a lot to tell, so this trip gets two installments. what an incredible country – the landscape was breathtaking, which was a bit of a change for me, who has studied in denmark and the netherlands, perhaps the flattest countries around. we actually spent a lot of time traveling by train and bus and seeing natural sights than we spent in cities, which is new for me. but i think that when visiting norway, this is definitely the way to go. kari and i took a cruise ship from copenhagen to oslo and got to spend one day (and few precious hours of daylight) in oslo. the day was definitely well-spent, though! we went to see the gustav vigeland sculptures at frogner park: 75 acres, 18 years of work by one artist, 600 nude bronze and granite sculptures. it’s kind of overwhelming…and beautiful! there is a loose “cycle of life” theme to the work – there are figures of all ages, and several pieces focus on the intertwining of bodies and interactions between the ages. many of the figures are in motion, or balancing/interacting with one another in some way. they’re stylized but very human, both in stature (though a bit larger than me – norwegians, maybe?) and in expression.  this park was vigeland’s life’s work, and a gift to the city of oslo.
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bridge of sculptures

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figures in motion

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steps leading up to the monolith

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the park’s centerpiece: 121 figures carved out of a single block of granite; the “people pillar”

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decorative gates

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fountain/more gates

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an example of the “cycle of life” motif

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some favorite sculptural pairs

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here are a few more photos from oslo…we didn’t get a chance to see a lot, but i just found out that i might be able to return in the spring as part of my scan|design program, so i’m very excited for that.   stay posted for part two: bergen and the farther (snowier) north!

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