Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park is located a little north west of Oslo’s city centre in the Frogner district, and is the largest sculpture park in the world made by a single artist. More than 200 bronze & granite sculptures, and beautiful gates wrought in iron, fill the park. It’s all the work of the dauntingly prolific Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943), predominantly made during the last two decades of his life (although sketches and models for many of the sculptures were conceived earlier). It’s a “fantastic concoction, medieval in spirit and complexity” – a weirdly wonderful, exuberantly enigmatic celebration of life, death and everything in between. We made our first visit to the park late at night, and in the darkness and silence it’s a strange and eerie place…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

We returned the following day – a breathtakingly beautiful spring day with an indescribably blue sky – for a better look (and to soak up some spring sunshine)…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

And here’s the man himself, chisel and club hammer at the ready (and one of the intricate wrought iron entrance gates)…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

Patterns, textures, colours (and creatures) on the streets of Oslo, late March 2014…

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

urban tigers

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

street art stripes  |  seahorse

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

damstredet reds

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

sapphire blue, emerald green

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

and pink

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

birds on a wire (like drunks in a midnight choir)

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

freedom  |  constraint

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

bike rack  |  manhole cover

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

cat lady  |  shadow play(er)

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

verdigris elephant, akershus slott

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

crisscross

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

oslofjord

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

sunset over the oslofjord

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

disturb the beast o’ damstredet at your peril!
(dougal’s long lost viking cousin?)

gokstad viking longship, vikingskiphuset, oslo, norway

golden tree, akershus slott, oslo | gokstad viking longship, vikingskipshuset, oslo

Anyone who has seen the harmoniously rhythmic curves of a Viking longship (as I have now learnt) knows that Nordic craftsmen know a thing or two about working wood! I was very smitten with the elegantly curved Gokstad & Oseberg longships (housed in Oslo’s purpose-built Vikingskipshuset), the handsome 13th Century Gol stave church (at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo), and the many other fine examples of woody craftsmanship we encountered while in Norway earlier this year. Some of these marvels are pictured here…

gol stave church, from gol, hallingdal, 13th century

gol stave church, dendrochronologically dated to 1212 [originally from gol in hallingdal, now located in the norsk folkemuseum at bygdøy in oslo]

gol stave church, from gol, hallingdal, 13th century

stave church details

oseberg viking longship, vikingskiphuset, oslo, norway

oseberg viking longship, built c. 824 AD, excavated from the
oseberg burial mound (where it was interred in 834 AD) in 1904-1905

gokstad viking longship, vikingskiphuset, oslo, norway

gokstad viking longship, built c. 850 AD, excavated from a
burial mound on gokstad farm in sandefjord in 1880

'loft' storehouse, from rofshus, telemark, built 1754

goose… very much at home on the comfy turf roof of a beautifully
carved ‘loft’ storehouse from rofshus in telemark, built 1754

sami turf hut, lyngen alps, norway

weathered wood, sami turf hut, lyngen alps area

top: cupboard, painted spruce, dragon-style, c. 1899 ; bottom: cart, oseberg longship grave goods

fantastic felines!
[painted spruce cupboard, detail, made in the 'dragon-style' by lars kinsarvik, hardanger, c.1899  |  saluting cat (?!), carved details on the side of a cart found amongst the oseberg & gokstad burial mound grave goods]

'loft' storehouse, from vinje, telemark, c.1750-60

carved pattern details on a ‘loft’ storehouse from vinje in telemark, built 1750-60

gol stave church details

gol stave church – looking out from within, and more wonderful carved details

looking out from gol stave church ; chibi totoro

chibi totoro contemplates the wonders of wood

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo]* – detail

Here are some more pages from the sketchbook/notebook project I’m working on with my friend Yoko (if you’d like to read the introduction to this project you can find it here). I was working on these pages at the tail end of last year’s autumn, and apparently was a little leaf-obsessed at the time…

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – work in progress

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – detail

I also enjoyed ‘intervening’ with one of Yoko’s previous drawings…

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – drawing by yoko

muji notebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – dragon pollen?

While I was doodling dragons and playing with fallen leaves, Yoko was creating a fantastical forest of fungi in the other notebook…

muji notebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam]* (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

muji notebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – details (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

" "

* notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo.

Previous posts about this project: (1)

in the lyngen alps, norway

bird-skull mountain
[I don't know its real name, but this seems an appropriate moniker]

We recently made a trip to the Arctic Circle in search of the Aurora Borealis. The brief glimpses we had of this awe-inspiring phenomenon were beautiful and mesmerising, but during the ten days that we spent in the frozen north we weren’t lucky with clear night skies (so hope to return in the future for more Aurora action!)

The landscape of Norway’s Lyngen Alps area in late March – snow-covered mountain peaks, reflecting fjords, complex icicle structures, and early colourful signs of spring contrasted against the predominantly white backdrop – is breathtakingly beautiful and unlike any other landscape I have experienced…

in the lyngen alps, norway

reflecting fjord

in the lyngen alps, norway

sámi turf house

in the lyngen alps, norway

repeating patterns

in the lyngen alps, norway

elemental

in the lyngen alps, norway

chibi totoro fondly recalls childhood vacations on hokkaido

in the lyngen alps, norway

buried

in the lyngen alps, norway

unexpected flashes of colour

in the lyngen alps, norway

purple & chartreuse

in the lyngen alps, norway

turquoise & norway blue

in the lyngen alps, norway

husky pup in the sunshine

in the lyngen alps, norway

views from our temporary home

in the lyngen alps, norway

rorschach test

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

Photos on Flickr

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

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