International art at St. Olav
British artist Tony Cragg has been given the honourable task of decorating the central square at St. Olavs Hospital; Olav Kyrres Plass.
30. Apr 2012 15:20 30. Apr 2012 15:28
|Photo montage/3D model of art work in front of the Knowledge Centre. The sculpture is four metres tall and will be finished in bronze and have a golden brown colour. Illustration: Asplan Viak AS ||
The internationally acclaimed artist is well underway with the production of his sculptural installation which will be the centre piece in the square in front of the Knowledge Centre.
This is the biggest assignment given to a single artist during the hospital development, at an estimated cost of six million NOK. The bronze sculpture is approximately four metres tall, including the base. It is scheduled to be unveiled in August 2013.
Tony Cragg has produced works of art across the globe, and his is the only art assignment by a foreign artist at the hospital. Cragg was chosen after a long process in which international competition for decorating the central square was considered.
After visiting the site of development in Trondheim, Cragg presented a draft which in turn was approved after a hearing amongst representatives from the hospital, university and patient organisations. Art consultant Ulrika Wallin, from Trondheim commune, provided valuable insights in the process, and supports the notion that a central piece by Cragg will have a positive influence; not only for the hospital, but for the city of Trondheim.
|Tony Cragg in his German studio with art consultant Petter Alexander Hepsø. Photo: Helsebygg ||
On the choice of artist and art work, art consultant for the hospital development Petter Alexander Hepsø said:
"We set our sights as high as possible during the process of finding the right artist, with a long list of candidates that has been drawn over several years. The reasoning behind this is that the chosen work of art should reflect the hospital in that it holds a very high international standard. The work of art should be freestanding and not specifically relate to the hospital as context or comment on its activities.
Tony Cragg produces sculptures with a complex internal dynamics, which simultaneously maintains a significant aesthetic expression. At first glance his sculptures appear as objects with fascinating abstract qualities. But without too much effort you will also recognize profiles of something human. Another central aspect of Cragg’s sculptures is that they incorporate these anthropomorphic (human-like) reference points in a digitalised and technological expression. His unique expression can therefore be described as a trinity between the abstract, the anthropomorphic and the technological. This combination makes his sculptures tell stories on a metaphysic and sublime level.
All these qualities are prominent in Cragg’s draft for the sculpture at Olav Kyrres Plass, and it could prove to be one of his most structurally complex sculptures to date. The end product will be cast in bronze and will have a golden patina. The shape and surface of the sculpture will, in a very interesting manner, contrast its surroundings, but at the same time absorb the lines and continuity of the area, without creating a contradiction. I am convinced that Olav Kyrres Plass, the hospital and Trondheim will get a sculpture that will work well with its surroundings, and which will be given international attention."
|Cragg in front of a full scale wooden model of the sculpture; head architect Ragnhild Aslaksen in the background. Photo: Helsebygg||
The production process is long and elaborate and most of the work is done by hand, and it demands several man-labour years to finish. The production takes place in the artist’s home in Wuppertal, Germany. Even though work has been done on the sculpture for a few months, this is the first time the artist allows publication of pictures of the sculpture.
The art collection at St. Olavs Hospital is one of the largest in Norway, apart from the museums, counting more than 2000 individual works and a total budget of approximately 60 million NOK, or 0, 5 percent of the development budget.
For more information, contact:
Art consultant Petter Alexander Hepsø, +47 408 57 444
Head architect Ragnhild Aslaksen, +44 952 85 581