Heaven on Earth

Thoughts from the artist at the preliminary stage:

"Nature has already made Nordland into a "sculpture garden". Some places appeared to be untouched by human encroachment. These perfect places should remain "untouched" – even by artists. It isn’t necessary to add or subtract anything – a work of art in such a place will look like a toy or trinket. Ofotfjorden, which has been known since the Stone Age, is an aperture to the world outside. The area has a rich history, and the fjord and life here is steeped in legend.

A work of art here should not be an heroic construction to extol or censure a special event, be it defeat or victory. It should function as a symbol for the people who have lived here, and who will come to live here in the future; a symbol that marks the entrance to the fjord – at the narrowest point; a kind of bridge that connects one side of the fjord to the other.

One intention is to give the sculpture a special meaning for the people who live here by using well-known elements, i.e. site-specific materials. The sculpture is a kind of event that takes place on both sides of the fjord.

Theme: The fjord – a door from the inside to the outside. A water gate. Water does not mean separation, but connection. Both sides of the fjord belong together.

Concept: Something leads down into the water and emerges on the opposite side. Three pillars (figures) in a row on a kind of pathway or stairway on both sides of the fjord. They enter the water on one side and emerge from it on the other. The three pillars on each side bear a form; a half-form. These half-forms on either side belong together.

Three population groups in Nordland: Saami, "Norwegians", Finns (Kvens) - 
Three landscapes: Coastal, rural villages, mountains
Fishermen, farmers, miners.

Three pillars and three basic shapes: Circle, square, triangle

Material: Common to Norway: Wood, stone, metal.

Dimensions: Each pillar is about 2.5 metres high. The sculpture should be visible from a distance but not "monumental".


Inge Mahn

: 1943 Teschen (Oberschlesien), Germany
Studies: 1964-71 Staatlichen Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, 1970-71 Meisterschülerin hos Joseph Beuys

Place of residence: Berlin, Germany