I went back to Aarhus this week for a quick 2-day trip, doing children’s workshops, more like ten minute chats with groups of children (I have been amazed and impressed by how many schools and kindergartens have been bringing their groups to the exhibition). I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, despite the fact that on Day 2, guess what? It rained cats and dogs! I found that the experience of having to try and engage the children with the sculpture, in not very much time, together with their questions and comments, was very focusing for the mind. It really made me think about what I had really been doing with the piece was to try and find ways of representing ‘abstract’ qualities of personality, like shyness, self defensiveness, secretiveness, feeling ashamed of something and so on… It was fabulous to see recognition dawning on some of the faces, when I got them to think about how you can represent a person other than in a conventional way of drawing a head, face, body, two legs and arms.
I also got to see the rest of the exhibition, and to take a wonderful bus ride round the bay to Ebeltoft, a picturesque seaside holiday village, where they have a fairly unique glass museum set up by Finn Lynggaard in 1986. Lyngaard was a pioneer, who introduced the concept of the art studio glass (as opposed to industrial glass made in factories) to Denmark in the seventies, after being inspired by Harvey K. Littleton in the United States. Glasmuseet Ebeltoft is currently showing an exhibition: DG15 40 Years of Contemporary Glass in Denmark. I was interested in seeing it because I would like to try working with glass again; after doing a little glasswork on my foundation course, and have tentatively been talking with the curator of the exhibition, Torben Jørgensen about this possibility.
Back to Aarhus on the bus, the trip reminded me somewhat of the north west coast of Scotland, minus the mountains of course. And I had a slightly disappointing fish and chip dinner by the river that runs through Aarhus which was uncovered recently having been cemented over in the 1970s.
Here are some photos of the rest of the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition which I saw the following day. I was particularly impressed by the way these pieces sat thoughtfully in their environment, either reflecting it (literally or metaphorically in some way), and in some cases contrasting with it to dramatic effect.