Outdoor sculpture by Kathrin Schlegel for the New Campus Ås

Feeding from the Tree of Knowledge by the German artist Kathrin Schlegel has been selected as the largest piece of outdoor art for the new Campus Ås.

Med sin åpne form spiller skulpturen på lag med skiftninger i lys, vær og årstider, heter det i juryens uttalelse. Illustrasjoner: Kathrin Schlegel.

The artist has taken a sample of lichen from the old farmyard tree in front of the Cirkus Building at NMBU, scanned it and plans to magnify the lichen using a 3D model so that every tiny detail is visible. The result will then be cast in bronze to form an artwork of more than three metres in height. This process will take place in Kunstgiesserei Kayser in Düsseldorf. Feeding from the Tree of Knowledge will be erected on an artificial elevation outside the new Fellesbygget, which will be a central meeting point on campus, housing a canteen, amphitheatre, library, reading rooms and auditoriums.

The jury’s statement reads: “The work has a poetic and artistic presence capable of enhancing Campus Ås and its art collection, park and recipients. With its open shape, the sculpture will interact with changes in light, weather and the seasons. Lichen is in itself a stable symbiotic association and can be interpreted as an analogy to the impending institutional co-location at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) campus. Symbolically, symbiosis can also refer to interaction between people or contacts between people, animals and nature.”

Using something so “insignificant” as a piece of lichen from the old farmyard tree and making it such a prominent feature of the new Clock Axis – the landscape area stretching from the Clock Building to Nordskog Arboretum – signifies the importance of history as the foundations for creating a new and expanded research community within the environment and life sciences.

Kunstneren planlegger å scanne et lav, og vil gjennom en 3d-modell forstørre det slik at alle detaljer blir synlige. Illustrasjon: Kathrin Schlegel.

– The proposal distinguishes itself with its site-specific origins and its relevance to the activities conducted on the campus, says Trond Hugo Haugen, leader of the art committee.

Lichen is a culture bearer. Throughout history, it has been used as food for both humans and animals, in medicines and to dye wool. Lichen is also an indicator of air purity, as air pollution and in particular sulphur dioxide from cities and industry has a negative impact on the lichen flora.

“I am greatly honored to have my proposal Feeding from the Tree of Knowledge selected to become the new permanent work of art at the Clock Axis at the University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and I very much look forward to working with KORO on the execution of this project at Campus Ås,” says Kathrin Schlegel.

Etter en åpen prekvalifisering i 2016 ble fem kunstnere/kunstnergrupper plukket ut og invitert til en lukket konkurranse. De fem kunstnere var Atelier van Lieshout (NL), Benandsebastian (UK/DK), Kathrin Schlegel (bildet) (DE/NE), Kyrre Andersen og Liv Anne Lundberg (NO) og Steinar Haga Kristensen (NO) i samarbeid med Daniel Dewar (UK) & Gregory Gicquel (FR).

Kathrin Schlegel (born in 1977 in Nordhorn, Germany) lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design (AKI) in Enschede in the Netherlands, and at The Art Academy in Münster, Germany. She has a Masters’ degree in Art and Public Space from Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has had exhibits in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, China and the USA, and has completed several art projects in public spaces.

The co-location process for the activities of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) will be completed in 2020. The NMBU’s veterinary research and teaching activities (former Norwegian School of Veterinary Science) is merging with the Veterinærinstituttet (the Norwegian Veterinary Institute) from Adamstuen and moving together into new buildings at Campus Ås. This is currently the largest development project for Statsbygg, and the art project for Campus Ås is one of KORO’s largest ongoing Projects.

After an open pre-qualification process in 2016, five artists/groups of artists were selected and invited to take part in a closed competition. These were Atelier van Lieshout (NL), Benandsebastian (UK/DK), Kathrin Schlegel (DE/NE), Kyrre Andersen and Liv Anne Lundberg (NO) and Steinar Haga Kristensen (NO) in collaboration with Daniel Dewar (UK) & Gregory Gicquel (FR).

Artist Line Bøhmer Løkken is already involved in a photographic project, while Marthe Karen Kampen and Johannes Borchgrevink Hansen are working on a major artwork for the Veterinary Institute, and Elise Storsveen and Jon Gundersen will be using both the floor and wall space in the entrance to the new veterinary building at NMBU for their Project.

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