Norwegian Fire Academy

In connection with the construction of a new locker room building at the Norwegian Fire Academy, the artist Sverre Gullesen was invited to create a group of sculptures for one of the campus lawns. The lawn is a popular place for students to relax in the summer months. Now they will be able to enjoy the new sculptures while taking a break from the challenging exercises that form part of their everyday studies.

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About the project

About the project

Norwegian Fire Academy

About the project

Sverre Gullesen has a bachelor’s degree from the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuels de la Cambre in Brussels and a master’s from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). He works with sculpture, performance, text, installation and video. In recent years he has created several concrete sculptures, all of which are cast from moulds made of fabric. Unlike traditional moulds, the fabric moulds are flexible, meaning that they stretch and bulge under the pressure of the liquid concrete. The process creates curved surfaces that are quite unlike those achieved by traditional concrete-casting methods. Although Gullesen makes small preparatory maquettes that allow him to predict the general appearance of the finished work, his technique also allows gravity to play its part. This lends an element of unpredictability to the result, giving the sculptures their distinctive appearance.

The sculptures are made of concrete mixed with a coarse aggregate. Once the concrete has hardened, the surface is sandblasted to remove the outer layer of sand grains, so that the aggregate is exposed. This technique, known in Norway as ‘naturbetong’ (‘natural concrete’), was co-invented by Erling Viksjø and Sverre Jystad in the 1950s. The sculptural forms are based on elements taken from the academy’s surroundings: the random natural design of the lines between the mountains and the sea.

A series of Gullesen’s concrete sculptures was previously exhibited at the Akershus Art Centre at Lillestrøm, and from May 2016 until February 2017 one of his larger-scale concrete sculptures was on display at Gimle Park & Skulptur in Kristiansand. The same sculpture was displayed outside the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo in connection with the Norwegian Sculpture Biennale 2017. The sculptural group created for the Norwegian Fire Academy is a continuation of this work.

Facts

Facts

Program

Art scheme for new government-owned buildings

Kunstverk

Kunstverk

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