Artscape Nordland

Seven Magical Points – Martti Aiha, Finland

Reader and commenter extraordinaire Bill really livened up the virtual conversation at my post about a book on Quadra petroglyphs, Spirit in the Stone. If readers missed it, do go read the comments there.

First Bill identified me as a lithophile in response to Anna’s question about what to call me over my love for rock art! Bill is a keen lithophile himself and remarked on some echoes in some of my prints to work of some stone carvers. I responded: … it’s interesting the similarities that you note. I think my work seems sculptural because I frequently deep etch my copperplates to the point that there are fragmented edges and holes… The plates themselves are beautiful, like relief sculpture.

Bill pointed out numerous interesting links to explore for which I’m very thankful. One of these is Artscape Nordland in Norway. It’s an amazing international art project with 33 invited participants from 18 countries.

The project originated in a comprehensive debate about the role of art in society. The County of Nordland, with its 240.000 inhabitants, does not have an art museum – and people must travel long distances to study modern art in museums and galleries. The idea of a collection of modern art in Nordland, one sculpture in every municipality and with the landscape as gallery, was first presented in 1988.

The underlying idea of the project is that a work of art creates a place of its own through its very presence in the landscape. The sculpture also visualises its surroundings, thus giving the place a new dimension. The dialogue resulting from the encounter between the sculpture and spectator reveals different ways of understanding and interpreting art.

The project officially started in 1992, and was completed in 1998. Sculptures, located in beautiful, varied and often brutal landscapes on the coast of the Atlantic, will be found in 33 of the 45 municipalities in the county. An art gallery without walls or a ceiling – and covering an area of 40.000 km2.

Some of the artists are well-known, like Anish Kapoor, Per Kirkeby, Antony Gormley, and Dan Graham, and many are young upcoming sculptors. Enjoy a tour of these exciting sculptures in their settings along the Atlantic coast of Norway. Thanks, Bill!

September 11, 2005 in Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Modern Rock Art, Other artists by Marja-Leena