Created and Sold by Hans Martin Øien

Hans Martin Øien
Between Heaven and Earth | Public Sculptures by Hans Martin Øien | Jønsberg Upper Secondary School in Stange
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Between Heaven and Earth - Public Sculptures

Featured In Jønsberg Upper Secondary School, Stange, Norway

Item details

Art project for Jønsberg high school 2013

Material: Corten steel, steel and bronze.

In conjunction with the Jønsberg high school being given a new large workshop hall, money was allocated for an art project in the school's area.
Jønsberg vgs. school has an educational program within; nature, technology and industrial production. The school is the country's oldest agricultural school and was established in 1847. The school runs a large and versatile farm and also has workshops for wood and metal. The school is a carrier of much old culture and tradition, while at the same time constantly changing.

Key words for the decoration were: "Tradition - innovation - knowledge - development - sustainability - green way into the future - reuse and growth. There was a strong wish that art could become a rallying point, eye catching and a visual characteristic of the school.

After surveying the school grounds, it was mentioned an old bronze bell that had previously belonged to a farm building on the farm. The building no longer exists but the clock had been taken care of even though it was in poor condition, it had long been a desire to have the clock restored and given it a new place. This gave the idea of ​​a sculpture with the function of "casting" bell tower.

Description of idea

The sculpture itself consists of two large rolled corten steel plates of 15mm thickness and four meters height. The plates have water-cut motifs that are partly taken from the plant ornaments of the local peasant culture and partly are drawings of insects that moves in these ornaments. The motifs, together with the rough and industrially manufactured material, should give a reference to the connection between modern industrial agriculture and traditional peasant culture and history. The sculpture will also create an awareness of agriculture's dependence on the natural cycle and the impact of animals on nature.

The proportions of the steel plates are divided according to the golden section and are reflections of each other. Taken together, they form a standing cylinder - a silo shape.

The bell has a stainless steel stand placed in the center of the sculpture, and the floor is covered with granite stones. The stones are in a given pattern with hexagon as a starting point, this helps to draw the foundation of the sculptural cylindrical shape. The pattern in the stone symbolizes the passage of time and consists of a twelve-pointed star representing the twelve months of the year.

Context & Credits

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Hans Martin Øien
Meet the Creator
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Wescover creator since 2020
"Every time I start a new art project I want it to play an important role for its surroundings."

From 1993 until today I have mainly worked with sculpture, installation and art projects in public spaces, as well as producing exhibitions in public galleries and museums.
In collaboration with engineers and craftsmen, I have for the last 15 years realized large scale art projects in different materials.
I have worked with materials such as wood, stone, steel, plastic, aluminum, bronze, copper, concrete, etc.
After a retrospective exhibition at the Haugar Art Museum in 2004, one of my projects has been a series of sculptures called "Lego sculptures". These sculptures have since been exhibited in many places all over Norway, and have been used in public art projects. This was basically an idea where I wanted to use a well known design (Lego minifigure) and reusable materials to create "full size" sculptures with literary references and low material costs. At this point I had been fascinated by how my children played with Lego.
I observed that my boys could play with these characters as girls play with dolls. They could live their experiences and fantasies with the characters and process their life experiences. I decided to do something similar with my sculptures. I wanted to draw the Lego figure into the adult reality and make him big and visible picturing the adult world. This led to a number of exhibitions and eventually projects in the public realm.
It was a relief to be able to emphasize storytelling rather than designing exclusive objects that very few people were interested in. The materials had a marginal significance; my first "Lego sculptures" were built from used veneer plates. Later I have used more traditional sculptural materials such as bronze and stone to draw these figures into an art tradition and to be able to create lasting sculptures that can withstand the Norwegian outdoor climate.
My "Lego sculptures" often deal with adults problems, myths and prejudices, while at the same time referring to the traditional sculpture that appears as a representation of memory.