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Nomadic Noble I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

Put your hands up, Put your hands up for Oslo

NORWAY | Sunday, 1 July 2007 | Views [11598] | Comments [2]


So it's not a rocking city. More like visiting Canberra ( Australia's capital city) but adding culture and multiplying the cost of everything by 4.

We're here for the Global Ecotourism Conference and my colleague at World Nomads, Christy McCarthy is giving a speech on Footprints, our charity program. I'd come along to lend support and do a little business development on the side without causing an international incident by getting too drunk or giving the Queen of Norway ( who turned up on the first day) an inappropriate hug.

I'm not going to bore you with the conference details, suffice to say Christy rocked in her speech and overall it was a great event, full of insight, enlightenment and a great deal of discussion around the actual meaning of Ecotourism. It also came with a traditional Norwegian girls choir who sang what I never knew to be a traditional Norwegian song " One night in Bangkok". The sight of tweens gyrating to a song about South East Asian prostitution was possibly one of the bizzarest things I've ever seen at a conference. If you'd thrown in a narcoleptic presenter or perhaps dwarf throwing as evening entertainment, I would have sworn I'd be cast in a Spike Jonze film.

What I did get a chance to do however was visit the world renowned Vigelands Scuplture Park.

Vigelands Park

Vigelands Park

As Wikepedia describes it -

Vigeland Sculpture Park is a part of the Frogner Park, located in the district of Oslo called Frogner, west of the city centre.

Probably the most famous park in Norway, it was created by sculptor Gustav Vigeland between the years 1907 and 1942. Most of the sculptures date from the years 1926 to 1942.

The park has as its theme what could be called the "Human Condition." Most of the statues depict people engaging in various typically human pursuits, such as running, wrestling, dancing, hugging, holding hands and so on. However, Vigeland occasionally included some statues that are more abstract, and to some degree defy understanding. Such as the "Man attacked by Babies" statue, which shows an adult male, fighting off a horde of tiny babies.

One of the main attractions to the park is The Monolith (Monolitten). At over 14 meters tall, the column is covered with entwined human bodies and is carved out of a single block of stone.

Another well known sculpture is that of an angry young boy (Sinnataggen), located on the bridge of the park.

(Excuse the following artistic critique on a travel blog)

What I loved about these sculptures was their desire to engage the viewer. There were no hidden meanings, no self absorbed wank on the part of the artist to say " Look at my lump of concrete, it represents, errr...well...eerrrr..whatever"

I watched people walk around each piece and you could sense everyone made a connection with the art, regardless of cultural background. They resonated because they depicted what we all see and feel in our lives. Senses of love, family, frustration, joy, sadness, all portrayed through a simple gesture, stance or pose.

Just about every scuplture triggered a feeling inside me and that folks, is what art should be about. I love that fact that travel affords you the ability to not only engage with different cultures, but also the ability to see peoples lives through the eyes of local artists as well.

If you ever get to Oslo, be sure to give yourself a good 2-3 hours hours to roam around the park. Throw on an iPod, put on some introspective music ( I had some Keane & Josh Pyke ) and enjoy one of the most engaging collections of art you're ever likely to see.

Tags: conference, culture, ecotourism, footprints, norway, oslo, sculpture, vigelands, world nomads




Wile viewing 'Sinnataggen' it must have been like standing in front of a mirror

  Mike Jul 2, 2007 2:18 PM


Nice post. Green forests of grants Oslo is a pot-shaped look. Oslogryta is not just restricted to weather conditions but wide-ranging characteristics like rich traditions, industrial houses, educational institutions, government etc. Oslo the most expensive city in the world. Enjoy all these in a simple package in mini-cruises that leave from either of the capital at 1700 hours and reach you at 0915 hours on another. Enjoy fascinator with its beaches, museums like Kon-Tiki and the Viking Ship Museum. For more details refer http://www.travelfront.com/simplicity-of-oslo-norway/

  Mack Sep 28, 2009 5:01 PM

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