Five years ago this autumn, Ekebergparken sculpture park opened in the hills above Oslo. It’s just one of several places in Norway where you may enjoy amazing art outdoors.
Published: 5 October 2018
Although the traditional art experience typically takes place in a museum or at a gallery, some of the most spectacular Norwegian works of art play out in a symbiosis with their surroundings, with the weather and the seasons as part of the experience. These are free and available to everybody.
One of the places that have provided Oslo’s residents and visitors with opportunities to combine the best of culture and nature, Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, celebrates its fifth anniversary these days.
When Ekebergparken was officially opened in September 2013, the vision was to “create a unique and diverse heritage park for the enjoyment and enrichment for the city's population, and as an attraction for visitors”.
That goal has been realized, largely due to an amazing combination of artworks and location.
Ekebergparken offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and the Oslo fjord, and the 40 sculptures and installations includes works by international art icons such as Renoir, Rodin, Dali and Hirst.
Among the park’s prominent Norwegian artists you’ll find Tori Wrånes, Dyre Vaa, Hilde Mæhlum and Per Inge Bjørlo.
An important theme of Ekebergparken’s art collection is femininity.
A great example is the lifelike sculpture “Walking Woman” by the British sculptor Sean Henry, where a woman is frozen in her motion through the forest. Or the squatting woman in Swedish artist Ann-Sofi Sidén’s self-portrait “Fideicommissum”.
In addition to the artworks and the location, the area is known for its diverse animal life. More than 40 different bird species are nesting in the park, and there’s a fair chance of encountering foxes, deer and bats on your trip through these hills.
There are several other places in Norway where you can combine great outdoor experiences and thought-provoking art.
The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo is the most famous among them, with more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland makes it the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist. Approximately one million people visit the park every year.
At Bryne in the city Time in Rogaland county, the Fritz Røed Sculpture Park is located. The park exhibits ten sculptures by the Norwegian artist best known for his monumental work “Swords In Rock” by Harfrsfjord, Stavanger. Røed’s art typically revolves around joy and playfulness, but often with more serious undercurrents.
Another must-see for sculpture enthusiasts is the Kistefos-Museum’s sculpture park in Jevnaker, Oppland, where the collection of modern Norwegian and international art is expanding by the year. Among the artists found here is Bjarne Melgaard, Magne Furuholmen, Kjell Nupen, Olafur Eliasson, Tony Cragg and Marianne Heske.
Further north, the extensive project Skulpturlandskap Nordland is worth tracing. In 32 towns and cities in Nordland county (and one in Troms), sculptures and installations were put up throughout the 90s. Artists contributing to the project include Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, Anish Kapoor, Bård Breivik and Sissel Tolaas.
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