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Gransdalen river bank (2015)

Commission for The World Park, Furuset, Oslo. 37 x 31 m.

 

This is my first outdoor work. It is embedded in a square in a park, and the square is to some extent formed to fit the work of art. Since the two are integrated into each other, I worked closely with the buider of the park (Agency for Urban Environment, (Oslo)) and their experts to find the most suitable materials and methods to realize my idea.

 

Groruddalen in Eastern Oslo have changed radically from a rural area 60 years ago, to a large suburban valley with several local centres, and some problems. The park was part of a communal/ national project to upgrade the area named The World Park to reflect the Alna boroughs ethnically and culturally diverse population. The park was planned to include a square - The World Square, with an art project, which obviously had to relate to its surroudings and the theme of the park.

 

I decided to make a collection of «Lost rivers». Every city have them: cities grow, rivers and streams are swallowed, covered up or led into tubes. Senterbekken is a local example, a creek that used to run through the valley that makes up the site of The World Park. It was removed fram the surface when the Furuset-part of Alna was developed in the seventies, but 40 years later it was proposed to be restored to be included in the upcoming park. Demographic changes thus sent Senterbekken underground, and demographic changes brough it back.

 


 

 

 


 



The process is not unique, the same thing happens all over the world when cities discover the environmental value of their buried rivers. I thought the various stages «lost rivers» goes through are were good examples of processes of change in general, and urban changes in particular. I made a collection of them (a «bank», like a blood- or gene bank), with downscaled fragments of  courses, polished into the flagstones of the square. About a 1/3 of these models are «donations», rivers suggested by lokal people. In addition to the main River Bank, the work of art consist of two other parts: a pool/ reservoir where the edge is made up of models of specific dams, and several groups of rocks based on islands in fragile river deltas.