About the project
About the project
About the project
A large and varied collection of artworks enlivens the everyday surroundings of students taking courses in the humanities and social sciences. Over 50 artworks were purchased for the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education when it opened in 1982. The diverse and complex collection includes paintings, ceramics, textiles, drawings, craft objects and sculptures. Many items in the collection have links to northern Norway, and there is a particular focus on works by Sámi artists and craftsmen. This focus is apparent in works such as Herleik Kristiansen’s drawing Reindeer Herd and the carved objects made by Johan Rist, which are displayed in a case by the entrance (Knife, cup, bone ring, scissors, sheath and náhppi).
The central work in the collection is by the Norwegian ceramicist Yngvild Fagerheim (born 1942). Fagerheim’s installation, which is integrated into the fabric of the building and was created in close collaboration with the architects, carries a political sting combined with humour and a free, experimental form. For the large floor surfaces in the central hall, Fagerheim created an installation of large, square slate and red ceramic tiles laid in a simple geometric pattern. Two porcelain reliefs set into the brick wall of the central hall are titled Our honour and our power. These words are extracted from Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s Norwegian Seafarer’s song from 1868, “…white sails have conferred on us our honour and our power”. While Bjørnson’s words glorify the Norwegian seafarer, Fagerheim’s porcelain reliefs depict Norway as an oil and military power. Fagerheim’s consummate mastery of clay as a medium helps blur the boundaries between fine art and craft, and bears witness to how ceramicists and other makers achieved a new status for themselves during the 1970s – one result of the artistic and political efforts in which Fagerheim herself was a participant.
Willibald Storn (born 1936) is also well represented in the art collection. He was one of the founders of GRAS, a collective of politically motivated artists who shared a print workshop and were highly influential in the 1970s. Storn’s imaginative, energetic imagery juxtaposes a critique of violence, war and capitalism with dream-like and erotic visions. One of the two series of works by Storn at the faculty comprises four images: (Wise words don’t grow unless under threat), (A red horse gallops quickly home), (Stones being picked up to be cast far away) and (Heads are rolling in a headwind). For these images, Storn employed a simplified line and his characteristic combination of calligraphy and text is central to each of the images. The images in the second series, The Knight, The Warrior and Dancers, are typical of Storn’s work: strong, colourful and expressive.
Another noteworthy artwork in the collection is a sculpture by Ola Enstad (1942–2013), The shoal – heading into the depths. A group of miniature frogmen, mounted on tensioned steel wires just below the ceiling, appear to have dived through a window into the room. Frogmen are a familiar motif in Enstad’s work. For example, his sculpture Divers at Vaterland in Oslo is similar to The Shoal, but in a larger format. Many of Enstad’s sculptures reflect on the relationship between the one and the many; the universal and the individual; the subjective and the general. Enstad was responsible for a number of major public art projects.
Another important purchase for the faculty was an embroidery on linen by Britta Marakatt-Labba (born 1951) titled The Crows, which depicts the sit-down protest at Stilla during the 1979 protests about the construction of the Alta Dam. The embroidery has now been relocated to Árdna, the Centre for Sámi Studies, which is located between the Theoretical Subjects Building and the Administration Building.
Hansine Hansens veg 36, 9019 Tromsø
Art consultant/Art Committee
Dalsbøe & Østgaard A/S
Tilgjengelig for publikum
Art scheme for new government-owned buildings