An artistic masterpiece - The human experience through nude sculpture
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway is a world famous tourist destination that is visited by tens of thousands each year. With more than 200 nude sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron symbolizing the emotions and experiences of human life, Vigeland Sculpture Park is a must-see in Oslo.
Completed between 1939 and 1949, Vigeland Sculpture Park is filled with unique sculptures - Gustav Vigeland's lifework. Art lovers and photographers could easily spend several days here appreciating and contemplating Gustav Vigeland's view of the human experience.
The Monolith is an imposing and captivating column towering 46 feet high and composed of more than 100 intertwined human bodies of all ages. Vigeland modeled the Monolith in the mid 1920s and stone carvers spent more than 10 years completing his vision. The Monolith is an incredibly intriguing piece that seems to beg for personal interpretation.
The Monolith is surrounded by 36 granite statues depicting the cycles of life and human relationships. The statues sit on various levels of the stars that encompass the structure. Because there are so many viewing levels and angles available, no two views are the same. Because of the multi-level design, the ever-present, captivating Monolith of human bodies is always in the background allowing even more room for personal interpretation of the cycle of life and human relationship statues.
The Fountain is Vigeland's unique view of the interaction between humanity and nature. Six men of varying ages hold a basin above them allowing a curtain of water to cascade down around them. Surrounding the Fountain, there are sculptures of humans that seem to be embedded in trees. Men, women and children of all ages are intertwined in trees in amazing poses and combinations.
The Bridge features 58 bronze sculptures seated on granite parapets on the sides of an actual 100 meter long bridge. These sculptures represent and symbolize human relationships. Men, women and children in various poses seem to both symbolize and / or capture a specific moment in a human life: a mother holds her baby, a son looks admiringly up at his father, two young girls look off at some unknown object, a man cradles a baby, a man attacks another man, a woman holds the hand of a man as she rests her head on his shoulder, a man juggles his children.
One of the most famous and most photographed bronze sculptures on the Bridge is Sinnataggen, the little Angry Boy. The chubby, little child is caught in mid-step and apparently in the middle of a temper tantrum.
The Wheel Of Life is a symbol of eternity. It is "a garland of women, children and men holding on to each other." According to the Vigeland Park literature, the Wheel Of Life "sums up the dramatic theme of the entire park: Man's journey from cradle to grave, through happiness and grief, through fantasy, hope and wishes of eternity."
Oslo is very open to the gay community. The former Minister of Finance and the Chairman of the city council are openly gay.
The VisitOslo website says, "Gay couples can go to the restaurant or bar of their choice – they do not need to go to a place especially for gays. However, there are of course places where you are more likely to meet other gays and lesbians, mainly in the city centre. Oslo's gay nightlife is not as segregated as in many other cities; gays and lesbians often go to the same places, and different age groups mix. In addition to the designated gay bars like London and Elsker, there are also other places with many regular gay guests, such as Ett Glass and Bobs Pub."
Skeive Dager - Oslo Gay Pride is the largest cultural event for Norway's lesbian and gay population. It offers a film festival, concerts, art exhibits, shows, and political conversations. It is held in June.
We were the guests of Vigeland Sculpture Park in 2010
Gay Travelers Magazine
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Staff Feature - copyright Sunny Harbor Publishing