Created and Sold by Hans Martin Øien

Hans Martin Øien
"Indescribably Close" | Public Sculptures by Hans Martin Øien | Øya helsehus in Trondheim
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"Indescribably Close" - Public Sculptures

Featured In Øya helsehus, Trondheim, Norway

Item details

Art project for Trondheim Health Guard 2018

The art project is adapted to the health care emergency department.
. "An art project here will mark the entrance, be a welcome to all arriving
... and likely to give a little smile to the people in a vulnerable situation."
It was the wish of committee that I used idiom from Lego figure
(Lego building blocks) in a way I have done in the past. During the development of the ideas I built various models and drafts with traditional Lego bricks until I ended up with the sculptures "indescribably close" and "Doctor universalis"


"indescribably close" refers to an expression that I remember from my own upbringing.
"Helt på håret" describes what was a "hair break from" the disaster.
Something or someone who manages with small margins.
It refers to something that was very close to happening.
At the same time "Helt på håret" is a play with words inspired by the situation the sculpture depicts
- a hero who has landed on his head.

One can also regard the sculpture as a tribute to all the anonymous heroes who work in the health care system and those who work in the field as ambulance personnel. Here they appear as a traditional sculpture on the pedestal but as senseless figures who, in addition to referring to the health care worker, also refer to the abstract geometry and the Lego figure as we know it from the Lego toy. The sculpture is inclined to the building to reinforce the impression of moving figures, as if frozen for a moment on their way to the emergency room and placed on the pedestal there and then.


The sculpture is made of yellow and dark gray granite. The sculpture includes two benches
made of dark gray granite and oak. The benches are also inspired by Lego bricks and
help to activate the bounded area where the sculpture is placed ..

Context & Credits

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Hans Martin Øien
Meet the Creator
 / 
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.