If you enjoy art, then visit this unique collection of international sculptures set in the beautiful and varied Nordland landscape.

Your meeting with artworks in the landscape

Who said that to experience sculptural art, you have to head for the big cities with their galleries and indoor art collections? Here, you can travel from artwork to artwork out in the landscape in no fewer than 33 of the municipalities in Nordland. Artscape Nordland is an international collection of artworks created by artists from 18 countries in the period 1992–1998.

The artworks are permanently positioned out in the beautiful and varied landscape – which forms an art gallery without walls or ceilings covering an area of 40,000 km2. Visiting this art collection is a long journey out into physical space. It is also a long journey as regards the variety of settings the works are presented in, and a long journey with regard to the richness of artistic expression on display.

Artscape Nordland has now moved into phase 2. The project is to be expanded with a new sculpture every second year up to 2010. The Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles is currently working on outlines for a sculpture destined for the Municipality of Dønna.

To find out more, go to: www.skulpturlandskap.no

Four selected sculptures you should see

We have selected four very popular sculptures in the area around Bodø and Lofoten, linked by the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Voyage), Vestfjord Ferry and plane connections:

Tony Cragg chose the pier in Bodø as the site for his sculpture, largely on account of his interest in borderlands. The pier is a place where land and water meet, where nature and construction collide. His work consists of seven stones, sculptures that each seem to tell a separate story of their own. The starting point of Tony Cragg’s sculptures is often the fact that the materials around us bear a great many tales within them, and that they reflect how our perception of life is visualised in the objects that surround us.

The sculpture represents a meeting between nature and technology, nature and culture. On the one hand, we can see criticism of the modernist concept of nature as a resource for affluence and material goods. On the other hand, we can see these seven “holy” stones as representing a link between the sublime and the absurd, the venerated and the earthy. At the same time, the viewer is spared the self-importance that so often imbues conventional monument art.

Contact Visit Bodø for additional information about travel accommodation and service at www.visitbodo.com.

Dan Graham’s glass construction with transparent mirror walls is located in Vågan, along the main road through Lofoten’s geographical formations that resemble an arm. At first sight, the sculpture does not seem to be present in material form, but rather as something that captures the light and the image of the landscape around it. However, with its reflective concave panorama wall, it sets up a real treat for the eye.

We see a landscape that could appear in any painting that cultivates the landscape as a motif. We encounter questions, conditions and positions that challenge both our way of observing the world around us and our own location. The experience is created by the sculpture and its cinematic interaction with its surroundings. The work is a picture, an object and an architectonic shape – but above all, it is an event.

For Markus Raetz, art is about seeing; about how we observe the things around us. Markus Raetz shows us that the world is full of surprises, which we will see if we simply enter into the dialogue between our senses and our physical movements in space. We are confronted with surprises, and reminded of the fact that we can experience them elsewhere in our lives, too, as long as we keep our eyes open. The sculpture, which is positioned on Eggum on Vestvågøy, changes shape – and thus content – sixteen times when you walk around it.

From one angle, it looks like a classic portrait, while from another the head is turned upside down. The sculpture is positioned in a grazing area for sheep and you pass through Eggum Nature Reserve on your way to see it. The landscape around the sculpture is monumental and packed with constantly shifting shapes and colours. The lake is the other element, coloured by the seasons and replete with the beauty of nature and the memories of history. The sculpture seems to be in connection with it all for those who stand and observe it.

Luciano Fabro has said that his sculpture Il Nido is a monument created for birds. It is positioned on an island where migratory birds come to nest, far out in Lofoten, between the fishing village of Røst and the islands beyond. The shapes are drawn from both nature and culture.

The egg leads thoughts towards the beginning of life itself, while the classical columns tell of greatness lost. For all living beings, life has a beginning and an end. Luciano Fabro inverts the concepts of public and private. A public place of the kind one would normally associate with a monument has been transformed into a sphere of life for the birds, while we are obliged to travel by boat to view their monument on Vedøya between Røstlandet and the protected landscape of Røstøyan.

For additional information about travel, accommodation and service, contact Destination Lofoten on +47 7554 8000 or visit www.lofoten.info.

Find out more about your journey through the artscape?
A richly illustrated guidebook has been published that presents directions to all the sculptures. Two versions of the book are available: Norwegian/English and English/German.

Postcards showing each of the 33 sculptures area also available, as well as a roadmap on which the individual works are marked.

To order the travel guide, roadmap and postcards, visit www.artscape.no.