Saturday, October 02, 2010

Norway:Oslo:Vigeland Sculpture Park

Fall colors just after summer in October
For a tourist or a temporary resident in Oslo city,  staying in can be very quiet if you are coming from the more noisy areas of the world like India etc. It takes sometime for the city to get onto you and for you to start enjoying its various non-commercial tourist attractions. One of the places me and my wife had indeed grown to like was the Vigeland Sculpture Park which is about 3 Km from Oslo Sentrum. There are numerous ways to get to Vigeland Park – by Tram (Tram # 12 from Oslo Sentrum, towards Majorstua), Taxi or by walk. We preferred the latter the most as it was a very enjoyable walk (half an hour) from our earlier residence in St. Hanshaugen. We used to walk down almost every weekend (both days) to meet our group of Indian colleagues to play badminton in the lush green outfield of Vigeland Park. At times we used to just walk down to laze around on the grass / benches and sip home brewed Indian tea and munch on some biscuits and light snacks. At times our social circle would also organize barbeque or “pot luck” and we used to have a blast – conversing, eating, pulling each others legs and playing badminton.
Vigeland Sculpture Park is a part of Frogner Park and it covers 80 acres (320,000 m2) and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland. Gustav is one of the most reputed Norwegian Sculptors active between 1869 and 1943. Vigeland personally sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today.
Ambani brothers?
Captions added by some miscreants

Vigeland personally sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today.

Would be my pose after a famous win in life
The expression on most of these sculptures would stun you, as you walk down the Vigeland Park. The sculptures are showing a range of human emotions - of love, fights, bonding, man embracing the beast, man bonding with wife, man playing with kids etc. You would definitely find some part of you, your life or people staring onto your eyes out of one of those sculptures. Most of the sculptures are naked, so i had to indeed pick and choose the ones that were decently covered through their poses for maintaining the sanctity of this blog!

These works of art reside along an 850 meter-long axis divided into six sections: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Children’s Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and the Wheel of Life.

The Monolith of Life from a distance

The Monolith towers 14.12 meters (46.32 ft) high and is composed of 121 human figures rising towards the sky. This is meant to represent man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation.
View from The Bridge
 The picture adjacent is a nice picture taken from "The Bridge" which has lake on both sides. You can see lot of greenery for miles together and birds flying with gay abandon.
On the benches seen below, lot of folks come with their kids and family to spend sometime in the evening, enjoying nature, having conversations and in the process momentarily forgetting the mundane problems life poses.

Wheel of Life as seen from the Monolith Plateau

At the end of the 850-meter-long axis lies a sundial, forged in 1930, and finally the Wheel of Life, crafted in 1933-34. The wheel is more or less a wreath depicting four people and a baby floating in harmony. It is a symbol of eternity, and implies the overall theme of the park: man’s journey from the cradle to the grave.

The Fountain
Originally designed to stand in front of Parliament , the Fountain was fabricated from bronze and adorned with 60 individual bronze reliefs. Portraying children and skeletons in the arms of giant trees, the Fountain suggests that from death comes new life. On the ground surrounding the Fountain lies an 1800 square meter mosaic laid in black and white granite. It took Vigeland a great deal of time to establish the monument: from 1906 to 1947

Monolith with the Wrought Iron Gates

Awesome fall colors experienced in October in Vigeland Park

The Fountain on a rainy day
This picture was taken from the Monolith Plateau - of "The Fountain" on a rainy day. The backdrop of the fountain against the skyline is simply mesmerizing - be it sun, rain or snow.

Me at the Wheel of Life on a sunny day

A lot of folks exercise around the "Wheel of Life" running all the way up the slope leading to the Wheel and returning back. Some of these are atheletes who train in the natural serene atmosphere of the Vigeland Park for their games. During summer, its not uncommon to find folks having barbeque or sipping beer, reading books and conversing along till it gets dark (which is usually around 11.00 pm)

Caption says "What a Mess?"

 Gustav Vigeland has personally crafted each of these sculptures for years/ decades together and gifted them to the City of Oslo. Amazing feat for a man who was so passionate about his art and dedicated his entire life to it. Vigeland occasionally included some statues that are more abstract, such as the "Man attacked by Genii" statue, which shows an adult male, fighting off a horde of mythological figures.
 Seen below is a parting shot of the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where at the end of the park, one can see winding roads leading to other parts of Oslo city and high up in the mountains the Holmenkollen ski'ing slope. Some day will blog on my trip to Holmenkollen too.

Holmenkollen Ski jump

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