Art in Brundalen School

Artists: Marius Dahl, Jan Christensen. Title: ‘The Reversed Parallax Views (1–3)’ 2015. Lillian Tørlen. Title: ‘Farger på rømmen’ 2015. Lars Skjelbreia, Aleksander Stav. Title: ‘Steintroll’. Art consultant: Anita Hofgaard
Marius Dahl and Jan Christensen have used Brundalen Primary’s architecture and the architects’ blueprints as a starting point in their large artwork in three parts, ‘The Reversed Parallax Views’. The work takes up the space of three walls in the school’s new building, offering different experiences and visual effects according to viewpoint. The title refers to the scientific term, which means viewing an object from different angles. Behind laminated glass, there are digital prints of the blueprints, layer upon layer, which creates a considerable depth and sense of space in the images. For the spectator, it is possible to “enter” corridors and classrooms, which the pupils and staff can easily recognise from the physical architectural landscape. In addition to blueprints for the newly built section of the school from 2015, parts of the original building are depicted in a similar fashion, with the architect’s rigid, constructive line. An extra dimension is added as the shiny glass surfaces reflect the actual room they are in, adding an outer layer to the drawings behind the glass. A significant part of the works lay in the colours in the three wall images. The largest one, measuring 1.9 metres tall and 10.5 metres wide, displays a varied colour spectrum, from violet through blue and green, to orange and red. Similar colour shifts are present in the other two images, measuring 8 and 2.4 metres in length respectively. All the colours of the rainbow are represented – and more.
Compared to the controlled use of colour in the aforementioned work, the use of colour and paint seems to be much less constrained in Lillian Tørlen’s composite work, which is spread across the school. In a total of 23 locations, Tørlen presents ‘Farger på rømmen’, “colours on the run”. Paint in different colours comes seeping out from openings and cracks in the walls; in some places, it is barely there, in others it comes in vast amounts, pouring down walls and onto the floor. It is all, of course, just an illusion. The “paint” is made from resin, and it is so solid it can be touched and stood on without consequence. The visible and tactile matter squeezing its way through crevices, bubbling and gushing out, is tempting to touch – and both looking and touching is allowed.
Outside in the schoolyard, two enormous trolls keep the children company. The trolls are made from concrete, polystyrene and fibreglass. One of them looks like he is crawling out of the ground, partly covered in grass and dirt, whereas the other one is already walking around in a state of wonder. It is the Norwegian “primordial troll” that has been awakened by artists Lars Skjelbreia and Aleksander Stav at Brundalen – the type of troll “discovered”, drawn and conceptualised by Theodor Kittelsen. Here they can be seen in their full size and might, but frozen in stone, which is what happens to trolls in daylight. At night, however, they get a new lease of life. Light beams out from cracks in their rough skin, and the atmosphere in the schoolyard becomes magic and a little scary. The story continues in the fairytales and in people’s individual fantasies.