KORO has carried out many art projects at the University of Tromsø, Norway's Arctic University over the years. In this guide we have chosen works in buildings that are accessible to everyone and provide an interesting walk around the university area.
For this art walk we have chosen works that provide insight into various art expressions and also a small walk around the university area . In each place you can click on the interactive map and read more about the different works. Some of the art you may already have passed, once or daily, without thinking so much about it. In this artwalk you can choose to let the art speak for itself, press the map and read a short text about it – or you can have a look at the questions that are asked in the text and discuss them with someone. Maybe someone else is next to you looking at the same artwork?
The porcelain reliefs, ceramic vessels and decorated tiles in the building’s central hall are the work of the artist Yngvild Fagerheim (born 1942). Fagerheim also designed the floor of the central hall with its geometric pattern of slates and ceramic tiles. Fagerheim’s artworks were integrated into the interior design in collaboration with the architects.
The porcelain reliefs are titled Our honour and our power. This phrase is taken from Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s Norwegian seafarer’s song, and is also the title of a play by Nordahl Grieg. Bjørnson’s poem glorified the Norwegian seafarer, but Fagerheim’s porcelain reliefs have an edge that associates them more closely with the critical perspective of Grieg’s play. Read more.
Address: Sentralhallen (central hall), Hansine Hansens veg 36.
How do you think the ceramic vessels and the use of tiles inside the building affect the atmosphere of the Space?
How do the motifs convey a critical view of Norwegian society?
Willibald Storn (born 1936) was one of the founders of GRAS, a collective of artists who in the years around 1970 created a new kind of politically motivated art that was inspired by American Pop art. The members of GRAS were politically active on the left wing of Norwegian politics. One of their achievements was to work with artists’ organizations to improve artists’ working conditions and professional status. Storn’s imaginative, energetic imagery juxtaposes violence and angst with dream-like and erotic visions. He has been described as both a rebel and a firebrand. Read more.
Address: Vandrehallen (Stornhallen), Hansine Hansens veg 36.
What stories can you find in the paintings?
Iver Jåks (1932–2007) is considered a pioneering Sámi artist because he integrated Sámi craft traditions into many different forms of artistic expression. He made sculptures in wood, horn, bone and leather, but also worked with metal, textiles, drawing, printmaking and watercolour. The collection of approximately 70 works by Jåks at the Theoretical Disciplines Building is the second largest in Norway. The largest collection is at The Sámi Collections in Karasjok. Jåks’s miniature sculptures evoke associations with traditional Sámi culture. These associations arise primarily from the materials used. It is seldom possible to identify specific tools or utensils. Read more.
Address: Solhallen, Hansine Hansens veg 36.
How do you think that Jåks’s works tell us something about Sámi culture?
The size of the objects and the way they are positioned together affects the way we perceive them. They may look like a game – or perhaps like the results of an archaeological dig. What do you think?
Britta Marakatt-Labba (born 1951 in Sweden) is considered one of the foremost Sámi artists. In her works she creates miniature worlds using needle and thread. Sometimes she depicts everyday scenes, while other examples of her work are more political. She has also highlighted conflicts between Norway’s indigenous population and mainstream Norwegian society over the exploitation of natural resources. Her 24-metre-long embroidered frieze History is inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry in France and depicts motifs taken from Sámi mythology and history. See more images here.
Address: Solhallen, Hansine Hansens veg 36.
Can you see a story depicted in the images?
How do you interpret the artist’s use of colour?
What is the meaning of the large yellow shapes?
Guttorm Guttormsgaard (born 1938), whose output includes prints, drawings and public artworks, has been a leading figure in Norwegian cultural life for many years. One of Guttormsgaard’s most striking works is The Labyrinth, which he created in collaboration with the landscape architect Bjarne Peter Aasen (born 1933). The Sámi artist Annelise Josefsen (born 1949) has carved two large rocks that act as the “guardians” of the labyrinth. The work, which is made of various types of stone found in northern Norway, took three years to complete. The Labyrinth was inspired by ancient Sámi culture. Historians believe that the Sámi people were building labyrinths as early as the 14th century as magical protection against external threats. At the centre of the 620-metre-long labyrinth is a pool of warm water. The water is kept at a constant 37 degrees, creating a cloud of steam during the winter and a sense of more southerly climes in the summer. At the bottom of the pool a perforated metal panel displays an illuminated star map for the Northern hemisphere. After dark, the pool appears to reflect all the stars in the night sky. Read more.
Address: Universitetsplassen, Hansine Hansens veg 18.
Do you think that the idea of protection is linked to where the work is positioned at the university?
What might the pool symbolize?
Lutz-Rainer Müller og Stian Ådlandsvik
Lutz-Rainer Müller (born 1977) and Stian Ådlandsvik (born 1981) have been collaborating since 2006 on sculptures and installations. The 10 street lamps in their work Dis-position come from cities that are home to the world’s largest container ports and airports: Atlanta, Beijing, London, Tokyo, Chicago, Singapore, Hong Kong, Schenzhen, Busan and Shanghai. Each lamp is installed at an angle that is equivalent to an upright (90-degree) angle at its place of origin. In addition, each lamp is programmed to be illuminated during the hours of darkness in its city of origin, creating a 24-hour light display. Read more here and here.
Address: Realfagsbygget (Science Building), Muninbakken.
Does the installation affect how you experience time and place?
Harald Wårvik (born 1956) has created a number of well-known statues and sculptures in Norway. His sculpture Sound Column (1988) was created especially for the Music Conservatory. The project was almost cancelled however because local politicians wanted to withdraw the city’s contribution to its funding. After a heated debate, the funding was eventually authorized. Sound Column is carved from Swedish black granite, which in places has been polished to a shiny finish. The sculpture stands 6.5 metres tall and has a diameter of 80 centimetres. Wårvik was inspired by early music, from a time when music notation was in its infancy. He wanted the column to have a Gothic appearance. Read more.
Adresse: Krognessvegen 33.
What does the sculpture resemble?
What do you think about the choice of location?
Harald Oredam (born 1941) is a painter and sculptor. His sculpture Waves (1993) is made of carved and polished Lødingen granite. The way that the two parts of the sculpture have been sited on each side of the road may give us the impression of waves that are parting to allow us to advance. Read more about the art in the Medicine and Health Studies Building.
Address: Medicine and Helath Studies Building, Hansine Hansens veg.
Look at the two parts from different angles and touch the surfaces of the sculptures. How are they different?
How might one interpret the difference between the two parts?
Makoto Fujiwara (born 1938) studied sculpture at Kyoto Art Academy in Japan. He visited Norway for the first time in 1982 after becoming interested in the rock known as Larvikite. Fujiwara works on large outdoor sculptures in an abstract tradition, and is primarily interested in investigating the inherent nature of his sculptural materials. He described his artistic process as a kind of dialogue with stone: he wants to bring out something that already exists within the stone. His sculpture Good morning! Musk Ox is made of carved and polished Larvikite. The title came about when the foreman in the quarry where Fujiwara was carving came over and exclaimed spontaneously “This looks like a musk ox!”. Read more about the art in the Theoretical Diciplines Building.
Adresse: Universitetsvegen 30.
How do you think the sculpture is affected by the way it has been positioned?
What does the sculpture feel like to touch?