On the last day in September I went to the National Art Museum in Copenhagen to see the exhibit, Re-modeling the World, with works created by Bjørn Nørgaard. The artist who also designed the historical tapestries for the Queen of Denmark. It was a weird, wonderful and strange experience. Some of what he has done makes me want to explore and other pieces make me wrinkle my brow and wonder ....... What is going on in this man's head. In the end I purchased a very large, heavy and beautiful catalogue about the exhibit and will be able to take my time to learn and understand a little bit better where some of his ideas come from.
After walking through the exhibit at a very leisurely pace I found the cafe and sat down in a very tall window seat, enjoyed a bottle of Ramlöse water with lemon and waited for my bowl of leek and potato soup with bacon bits. My eyes were meandering over the landscape outside. A coot couple ( a cute coot couple) was swimming along together and apart, diving or pushing their way in amongst the reeds which are dense along the little pond and a green legged moor-hen was enjoying life and finding treasures along the muddy edge of the water. The water lilies had not yet withered away completely a few green leaves still floating amidst the brown stalks of the ones which had capitulated to the colder days and nights of the season.
The nettles along the path way where runners keep whizzing by (on their lunch break?) had brown spots on the leaves and the intense green they usually display in the spring and summer no longer shone as radiantly. This is not a sad contemplation of the loss of warmer days, instead it is an expression of delight and thankfulness that I had been in a position to go and purchase myself the most gorgeous red wool sweater earlier on this day. Wearing it as I was writing this kept me warm, cozy and comfortable. I love fall weather.
But....to get back to the exploratory input of the day. I am quite infatuated by BN's installation Mickey's Opera, wondering what came first, Mickey's family or the Genetically Modified Paradise fountain which I enjoyed walking past earlier this summer in a different part of Copenhagen. I will find out one of these days.
What I came away with this day is a wish to better myself at layered story telling. I have to say that it seems to be a very strong side of Bjørn Nørgaard's. He creates pieces which have layers upon layers of messages to take note of if one chooses. It is ...... Worth exploring further and I will as this adventure continues. Check out his website www.bjoernnoergaard.dk as far as I can see it does not come in English but exploring any of the tabs will lead you to interesting photos of his art all of which does speak its own strong visual language.
Ok People, I am going to do it, in spite many little whistles going off in my head. I found these photos on the internet, three of the 17 tapestries at Christiansborgslot.
I think a few of them are the drawn/painted cartoons, one of the many planning stages in tapestry weaving. And also I am not sure what size they have actually uploaded in, hm perhaps I need to take photos of the postcards and post those instead. Photographing in the big hall where these beautiful creations hang is understandably not permitted so I left my camera in the luggage box, key #54, for me to have and to hold for as long as I was in the building still admiring the tapestries.
I went for 1pm since they have a daily guided tour at this hour every day. The tour goes into the history, layers upon layers of history which the artist Bjoern Noergaard carefully has built into each piece. Starting up the stairs to the hall there was only me and the guide. She got rather excited when I told her I was there because I do weave some myself and it is always inspiring to look at someone else's work and figuring it out or try to figure it out - sometimes there is quite a divide between those two states of mind:-) The guide had been to the workshops where these gobelins were woven in the nineties only this summer (Les Manufactures Nationales des Gobelins et de Beauvais, Paris) and she was amazed at the technique and skill she had seen there, however, since she had to understand everything in French her tapestry knowledge had not exactly grown to grand dimensions, and thus she declined my jubilant exclamation if she would allow me to ask a bizillion questions around the weaving. She was not sure that was such a good idea, but she was willing to do the history part and in there I could ask questions, just not on the technicalities of the actual weaving of the pieces.
Three more women joined us, two with no knowledge of tapestry but instead knowledge around the creative process of creating gold rings and jewelry. The last person turned out to be another Dane living abroad, an older woman who wanted to enjoy the tapestries. She has a tapestry loom behind a door in her house and when she returns to Norway where she has lived since 1959 after here little vacation she is going to go and finish what is on the loom and get started on her next project. Wonder what size it will be ;-)
A postcard, the photographer is Adam Rzepka, and now me copying him in not too graceful a way. A depiction of history in the late Middle Ages. I wish I could haul everyone I know and a few more through there one day, listening to the stories and layers and then observing some of the techniques and in general be awed. The tapestries are all close to 4 meters tall, I guess I shouldn't take one of them home after all before I have spoken to my husband about taking out a ceiling and adding another floor to the house. Hm, and we just got a new roof, hm again, perhaps not such a good plan after all. Below are a few links to check out further tapestry information at your leisure. I am off for a walk in the beautiful Copenhagen sunshine spreading over this day.
To the south of the island of Sjaelland in Denmark is another small and very beautiful island. This island is called Moen.
It is well known especially for it's beautiful rocky beaches and magnificent fossil finds.
We were a little bit strapped for time on this day, knowing that we had to endure the hardships of eating at a local fish restaurant in the evening. Thus we didn't walk on the beach but chose to walk along one of the paths on the top side of the cliffs.
It is far far down and very very beautiful. The above photo makes me think about how to combine light and shadow in a tapestry, I guess tapestry weaving takes up a lot of space in my head these days
Showing signs of an up-coming landslide, see the little horizontal cracks in the surface of the point.
In 2007 an enormous landslide took place here at Moen's Klint, if one follows the white shape into the ocean this is the contour of the length and width of the slide.
A lot of the slide residue has now been washed into the ocean and new little path ways have been formed by humans and animals living in this area. Plants have started growing and life moves on as normal.
Close-up of a large beech tree which slid along with the rest of it's surroundings back in 2007! It rests and crumbles peacefully on the beach. This is a closeups of the tree which can be seen on the left hand side of the little jutt out on the photo showing the width and the length of the slide above.
And finally, a few fossils, in the graveled yard of the house with the magnificent hot-tub, textures were every where to be seen. It was thrilling!
Every now and again new possibilities arise out of a renovation which has made a person really tired. Like for instance renovating an old farm house which hasn't been look after terribly carefully for many, many years. Well, sort of not since the last millennium.
Then it is time to take the old bathtub out to fix the bathroom with two new shower heads instead of one, two sinks, nice big mirror and at the same time be aware of one's impact on the environment and one's general energy consumption.
This is when one chooses to set up solar panels which will take care both of heating the water for the double headed shower and for the new system with heat in the floors.
This is done with an insulated 1500 liter water tank in the garage which is heated up to 70 degree Celsius and meanders in pipes under all the new cement floors, keeping all toes toasty and safe from frost bite. In the middle of the tank is a smaller tank which provides the hot water for the faucets in the house.
And the old bath tub, well, it got sort of a face lift, it has a little patio around it now and it has a much better view, over the fields into the sunset. When the two people who worked so hard at the renovations need a break they take the garden hose, attach it to the solar heated tank, fill up the tub, meander across the lawn and sit in the heat of the sun, morning or evening and enjoy life.