Oslo’s revitalised Ekebergparken opens with a new sculpture trail

An empty glass and metal pavilion in the forest surrounded by trees. Photographed during the day
Oslo's national heritage and sculpture park Ekebergparken has re-opened with a bold sculpture trail weaving through its forested grounds. Pictured, 'Pavilion' by American artist Dan Graham
(Image credit: TBC)

Ekebergparken, Oslo's latest revitalisation effort, is a 64-acre public park that commands a front row seat high above the city, overlooking the harbour entrance, opera house and Astrup Fearnley museum. A historic site with remains from the Stone, Bronze and Viking Ages (and later the Second World War), the 120-year-old 'folkpark' experienced decades of neglect. That condition is now being remedied by Norwegian businessman and art collector Christian Ringnes, by way of nonprofit foundation C Ludens Ringnes Stiftelse.

Spread out along 3km of gravel pathways are 32 works of art - an art-themed scavenger hunt, if you like. The works span the ages, from classic masters like Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol to site-specific contemporary installations by James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Dan Graham and Tony Oursler. Over the coming years some 80 pieces will be integrated into the park, where an emphasis is placed on maintaining the wild, forested grounds.

Sharing the space with dog walkers and joggers, visitors will start their art walk at Ekebergrestauranten, a beautifully restored functionalist building originally designed by architect Lars Becker, that houses several restaurants. Adjacent, two Swiss villas and an annex feature a visitor centre, small museum and the Karlsborg Spiseforretning café, as well as an activity centre for children. A stone's throw away are Dan Graham's 'Pavilion', Diane Maclean's 'Open Book' and James Turrell's 'Skyspace' and 'Ganzfeld'. For those willing to wander a bit further, artworks by Tony Oursler's, Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois are worth the extra effort.

The location - identified as the backdrop scenery in Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' - also inspired performance artist Marina Abramović in the creation of her own version of the iconic work. In the same familiar setting, she's employed 300 Oslo residents in the release of emotions through outcry. The results are currently being documented and will be released to the public as an art film and book.

Oslo's ten-year-long cultural and urban growth spurt shows no signs of slowing down, a development at least partially fuelled by the generosity of its culture-thirsty citizens.

The interior of the glass pavilion with a view of the forest through the clear glass

Graham's site-specific sculpture is highly architectural, letting the viewer experience the heritage park through a glass-encased structure

(Image credit: TBC)

Tall green trees in an open field photographed suring the day

Elsewhere in the park, 'The Couple', by Louise Bourgeois, 2002, hangs by a thread from a tree branch

(Image credit: TBC)

A concrete volcano shaped sculpture in a centre of a man-made pond photographed during the day with tall trees in the background

A reconstructed reservoir, the Vannreservoar, lies above two of James Turrell's sculptures, 'Ganzfeld' and 'Skyspace'. In the centre of the man-made, streamlined pond, the volcano-shaped tank of his 'Skyspace' work rises above the waterline

(Image credit: TBC)

A blue circle inside a veritcal orange square

'Skyspace', by James Turrell

(Image credit: TBC)

Blue pendant-like shape inside a verticle purple rectangle

'Ganzfeld', by James Turrell

(Image credit: TBC)

A sculpture in the form of an open book with silver metal edges and red reflective glass insidee. Photograph on green fields durng the day with trees in the background

Through 'Open Book', British artist Diane Maclean unites the literary world with the natural world. Standing in front of the opened-up sculpture, the viewer experiences a reflection of the surroundings

(Image credit: TBC)

Interconnected elements that merge seamlessly to create a resting place for birds and butterflies at the High Line

Sarah Sze's intricate 'Still Life' - once displayed on New York's High Line - has found a new home at Ekebergparken

(Image credit: TBC)

A diamond shaped stainless steel place inbetween the mouth of a stainless steel object

British sculptor Lynn Chadwick previously worked as an architect - a fact that shines through in this artwork, 'Ace of Diamonds'. Using the wind, the stainless steel mobile rotates elegantly around its own axle

(Image credit: TBC)

A grey metal scu;ture on an high open fields with view of the ocean

One of Norway's most important contemporary artists, Per Inge Bjørlo has designed 'Indre Rom VI'

(Image credit: TBC)

A narrow entrance/exit in a grey chamber with a handlike object in the air

A narrow entrance in Bjørlo's structure opens up to a chamber where an organic, almost fluid shape protrudes from the back wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Black rock in the forest with the words "i long and seek after" written on the stone in white

A nod to the petroglyphs found in other parts of Ekebergparken, American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has placed her work in direct dialogue with the park by carving texts into existing stone slabs

(Image credit: TBC)

A vibrant projection of lights on the tree photographed from a distance at night

American artist Tony Oursler created a vibrant, site-specific installation, entitled 'Klang' that projects light, sound and video performance on screens placed within a hollowed-out rock formation

(Image credit: TBC)

A vibrant projection of scared faces on the tree photographed upclose at night

A close-up look at Oursler's installation

(Image credit: TBC)


Kongsveien 21
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