Seven destinations. Seven walls. Seven outstanding pieces of street art. See how it went when Martin Whatson, one of Norway’s most acclaimed street artists, toured the Oslo region with a backpack full of stencils and spray cans.
Tokyo. Paris. New York. As a professional street artist, Martin Whatson has spent the past decade travelling the world. His pieces of art can be seen on massive walls and in prestigious exhibitions all over the globe.
Vinstra. Løten. Fredrikstad. And four other destinations in the Oslo region. In 2018 and 2019, Whatson has spent most of his time in Norway to add colour to seven destinations close to where he grew up.
And the result? Whatson’s distinctive artistic style – grey tones as a basis, mixed with a splash of vibrant colours – is dominant in all seven pieces. What the murals convey, however, varies. If you look closely, each wall tells a story unique for the location.
“My work always has an underlying meaning, yet the message doesn’t necessarily hit you in the face. It tends to be quite subtle, allowing the viewers to think for themselves. That opens up for interpretation”, Whatson says.
Even though Whatson grew up in Oslo, he was not familiar with all the places involved in the project.
“Except for Oslo, Asker, and Horten, I hadn’t been to any of the places, so I had no idea what to expect.”
So, what did you think of the places? Any favourites?
“I really liked Fredrikstad. That was probably the place that stood out the most to me. Here, I decorated a wall located right by the river that runs through the city. The area is packed with restaurants and bars, which makes the river a focal point. I thought that was cool. I also liked Vinstra a lot; it’s a beautiful valley.”
How did the locals respond to your work?
“Whether I work on a wall in Tokyo or Vinstra, I always get various reactions from people who walk by. Some may comment on the piece, while others just give me a thumbs up. In general, I often feel that people are more enthusiastic and positive in smaller places.”
Which of the seven walls are you most happy with?
“I think they are all special in their way, but if I have to pick one, it must be the Vinstra wall. The location is excellent, and the message is clear.”
Watch the videoes to see all the final results.
Martin Whatson is one of Norway’s most acclaimed street artists. His pieces of art can be seen on massive walls and in prestigious exhibitions all over the globe.
In 2018 and 2019, Whatson has toured the Oslo region to add colour to seven destinations close to where he grew up. Each wall tells a story unique for the location. Watch the videoes to find out more.
Learn more about Norway’s rich street art scene.
The Oslo region is full of historical sites and cultural gems. Here are some of the highlights that inspired Martin Whatson.
Experience Northern Europe’s largest sculpture park for contemporary art! Situated by the Randselva river in Hadeland, the Kistefos museum includes the one-of-a-kind museum building The Twist, which also functions as a bridge. In addition, the museum has an indoor gallery in a former industrial building.
Located at Midtåsen with a beautiful view of Sandefjord, the Midtåsen sculpture park features a selection of marble- and bronze sculptures by Norwegian sculptor Knut Steen (1924–2011). Midtåsen is the former home of shipping magnate and philanthropist Anders Jahre. Today, Midtåsen offers accommodation and dining for groups and guided tours during the summer season.
The star-shaped old town of Fredrikstad was founded in 1567 and is the best-preserved fortress town in Northern Europe. The town gives you a sense of history, but it is no museum – people live and work here. The quarter is home to many galleries, artisans and cosy shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Eidsvoll 1814 is the place where the Norwegian Constitution was drawn up and signed in 1814. Today, the Eidsvoll Manor House is a historical museum and one of Norway’s most important national symbols. Join a guided tour in the newly restored house which is set back to the 1814 style, and experience neoclassical architecture and unique interior design.
Midgard Viking centre is situated near the Borre burial mounds, which played a central role in Europe’s Viking history. Visit the magnificent Gildehallen, a reconstruction of one of the Viking Period’s largest halls, and see exhibitions that show different aspects of Viking traditions.
The glassworks at Hadeland opened in 1762 and has since maintained a continuous production of glassware. The centre of the operation is the glassblowing studio Glasshytta. Also, major artist names and exhibitions have made the place an international destination.
With more than 100 interactive installations, 25 permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as fun activities during weekends and holidays, the Norwegian museum of science and technology in Oslo is a gem for kids of all ages.
The small coastal town Åsgårdstrand is where Edvard Munch, one of Norway’s most celebrated artist throughout time, painted some of his famous works. Today, art lovers and travellers come to Åsgårdstrand to visit Munch’s house, a small museum open to the public. Here, everything has been retained as it was when the artist lived there.
At “the end of the world” you get a fantastic view of the ocean and the Vestfold archipelago. The recreation area is situated in Færder national park. At Verdens Ende you can enjoy magical sunrises or sunsets and a dinner with a view at the visitor centre. Also, don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the historic Vippefyret lighthouse.
Klevfos industrial museum is a former pulp and paper factory in Løten. The museum is a piece of industrial history from the time when wood processing was Norway’s largest export industry. The Munch centre is situated in the same area and is devoted to Edvard Munch’s relation to his birthplace Løten, and the role it played in his art.
This annual nine-day festival celebrates Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play “Peer Gynt” and the historical person from the Gudbrandsdalen valley that the play’s main character is built on. The outdoor theatre “Peer Gynt” by the Gålåvatnet lake is one of Norway’s most popular theatre productions.
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