Art at Byåsen School

Artists: Eirik Gjedrem, Annette & Caroline Kierulf, Solfrid Olette Mortensen, Peter Sutton 2007/2008. Art consultants: Anne Kvam & Anne Brit Krag.
For many years, the sculpture ‘Sykkelpiken’ (‘Girl with bike’) by Fritz Røed graced Byåsen School’s main entrance gate. The sculpture was later moved to the playground, and now guards the entrance to the assembly hall. The school area comprises buildings as well as a sizeable and varied landscape, where, the design of the school terrain has served as an extension of art and architecture – or the other way around. In this school, art is often integrated and has a function, not least in the pond on the south side, where Eirik Gjedrem has placed stepping stones in the shallow water. The 17 stones, each 20–50 cm in size and 10 cm thick, are made from stoneware produced by Tommerup ceramic workshop on the island of Fyn in Denmark. In addition to their physical purpose, which can provide both fun and inspiration to the users, the stepping stones are visually pleasing due to their variety of colours.
Eirik Gjedrem is responsible for several free-standing, colourful sculptures placed on footpaths in the school area, as well as a portal. The sculptures have an organic shape, inspired by mushrooms, and have been made from coloured Erik Gjedrem Peter Sutton 80 Skoler | Schools 81 glass-concrete. All of the sculptures have shining ‘eyes’, made from moulded glass inserted into round holes in the surface. In cooperation with the 650 pupils at Byåsen School, Gjedrem has also made another striking sculpture. Measuring 250 x 260 x 70 cm, this sculpture is the largest of them all, and just as colourful and original. Each pupil was permitted to shape his or her own small ceramic tile, associating freely around the theme ‘Drømmebærer’ (‘Dream bearer’), the artist’s title for the work. The tiles were made from glazed stoneware, and were afterwards attached to the core of the sculpture, a polystyrene and concrete construction, using white filler. With its central location in school, ‘Drømmebærer’ is a daily reminder to the pupils that they have contributed to a significant piece of school art. In addition, the sculpture provides a comfortable seat, with its round and soft shapes. Another comfortable place to sit was designed by Solfrid Olette Mortensen, in the form of a broad stairway on the north exterior side of the school. The steps have been constructed as a set of concrete ‘building blocks’ placed in a somewhat criss-cross pattern. The same artist has also provided the school with another place for recreation, an original, round metal pavilion, located between two of the school buildings.
In the indoor area, and prior to the addition of the above-mentioned works of art, Skule Waksvik’s popular bronze goose and pancake sculpture is now shiny from years of children’s hands touching it. The interior of the school has seen a lot of new art in connection with renovation work and new buildings, among them a large east-facing glass wall, with themes created by Peter Sutton, and graphics and paintings by the sisters Annette and Caroline Kierulf.