Press release:

New sculpture in the collection Artscape Nordland to be unveiled in the Municipality of Rødøy.

In June, Nordland County Council, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rødøy, is ready to unveil Per Inge Bjørlo's sculpture. The sculpture is located at Storsand on Rødøy, and the unveiling will take place on Saturday 5 June 2010, at 1 p.m. The sculpture will be unveiled by former county mayor and member of parliament Alf Ivar Samuelsen, who has followed Artscape Nordland for many years. Local cultural organizations will also participate, and the artist will be present. The sports centre on Rødøy showcases a photographic exhibition on Artscape Nordland.

The project has currently moved into phase 2, after Nordland County Council decided to continue the project initiated by artist Anne Katrine Dolven in 1988. The project is now expanding to include a new sculpture by Norwegian artist Per Inge Bjørlo, who has visited Rødøy on several occasions. The project's curator is Maaretta Jaukkuri from Finland. This sculpture is the 35th to be included in Artscape Nordland

Speech by Marit Tennfjord

Welcome, Mayor and representatives of the Municipality of Rødøy,
local Rødøyans,
and a special welcome to artist Per Inge Bjørlo.

I am here today to deliver an enthusiastic and grateful message from Nordland County Council. Enthusiastic, because it is not every day I have the opportunity to take part in an artistic happening of this magnitude, and grateful, because the Municipality of Rødøy and others involved have proven to be such good partners. This is a joint effort by the county council and the municipality.

First things first: The project initiated by artist Anne Kathrine Dolven in 1988 has taken another step into phase 2 with today's reveal at Rødøy. The project lay dormant for more than 10 years, until Dønna unveiled a sculpture by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles last year.

That is why it is so great that you, Curator Maaretta Jaukkari, was able to be present here today. You have been involved with Artscape Nordland from the beginning, and I have been told that you have been a great ambassador for the project in the rest of Norway and the rest of the world. In so doing, you have generated interest in the project, and also in Nordland as a destination. That is perhaps Artscape Nordland's greatest contribution; we have put Nordland on the map!

Per Inge Bjørlo is quite well-known as an artist for many in Norway, but perhaps not to everyone here in Nordland, as you have not yet had any exhibitions here. The fact that not everyone may be familiar with your work is not necessarily a bad thing, however. The unknown and unfamiliar can spark an interest and make you curious to get out here to Storsand, local Rødøyans and visitors alike. Over the years, if working with Artscape Nordland has taught us anything, we have learned that when people feel they have been “assigned” an artist, it makes them particularly interested in learning more about that particular artist. For that reason, we are particularly grateful that you were able to be here with us today, Per Inge Bjørlo. You have visited Rødøy in the past, when you were setting out to plan how to work with the sculpture, and you also took part in selecting the site for the sculpture. This site. And now you have made your way to Rødøy once again. With your presence here, we feel closer to you as an artist, and it is great for people to have the opportunity to talk to you in person.

In addition to revealing the sculpture on site out here today, the county council's visual arts department, Art in Nordland, has put together a photo exhibition, which is displayed in the sports centre here, which means that everyone who visits today and later on, can acquaint themselves with the 34 other sculptures spread across the entire county.

We are very happy to be able to include Rødøy in the project. Also, I have been told that next week, every pupil in primary school will visit the sculpture and work on creative assignments as part of the Cultural Rucksack programme. That will be great; I'm sure the kids have their own interpretations of the sculpture.

The county council has decided to expand the project by adding new sculptures. The collection is expanding. I am happy to inform you that there are plans to install sculptures at Træna as well. Where we go from there has yet to be determined. However, we can all agree that the unique art collection that is Artscape Nordland has found new life with the new sculptures that are underway. They contribute to the collection as a whole and put the collection in a new perspective.

Finally, I want to thank you, and congratulate you, Per Inge Bjørlo, on your sculpture, which is now part of our unique collection here in Nordland. I also want to thank Curator Marette Jaukkari, who has worked with the artist on this project and participated in the process from the beginning. Furthermore, the Municipality of Rødøy deserves credit for being a positive collaborative partner in all this. And last, but not least, we must not forget those you have carried out all of the practical work in connection with completing this sculpture. In this regard, we would like to thank Viktor Arentsen for transporting the sculpture across Rødøyfjorden, Rolf Jørgensen and Aksel Gundersen, who worked with the artist to secure it on site in a complicated operation. Congratulations!

Preliminary programme for Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 June.

Ferry from Forøy at 1:30 p.m. - crossing is 10 minutes. Lunch at the Arctic Inn, approx. 10 minutes from the ferry landing at Ågskardet. During the meal there will be a presentation of the municipality and review of the remaining programme. The municipal representatives will be present during this lunch.

  • Mayor Olav Terje Hoff
  • Municipal Executive Kolbjørn Lorentzen
  • Cultural Director Marit Hagtvedt
  • Cultural Secretary Solfrid Lorentzen

We drive toward Jektvik ferry landing along RV 17. At the landing, we board a chartered boat taking us on a tour of the municipality. The boat is big enough for people to move around and mingle on board. If the weather is nice, this will be a great sunny evening in the archipelago. We go ashore at Buneset for dinner and overnight accommodation. We will all stay together to continue the planning of the project. After breakfast the following morning, we make all formal decisions concerning the project. The same chartered boat that brought us here the day before will take us back to Jektvik.