As if the natural landscape of Norway wasn’t beautiful enough, now they’ve upped the ante by adding a new dimension to the breathtaking scenery: art. Commissioned by Norway’s Ministry of Tourism and the Nordland County Council, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Artscape Nordland is an international project to bring art into nature, featuring 33 works with invited participants from 18 countries that include such illustrious names as Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.
In typical Scandinavian fashion, the project originated during an intellectual debate over the role of art in society, mostly about its importance. The County of Nordland, with its 240,000 inhabitants, does not have an art museum – and many art-minded people had to travel for hours to be able to appreciate modern art in museums and galleries. While the idea of a collection of modern art in Nordland, one sculpture in every municipality and with the landscape as gallery, was first presented in 1988, it wasn’t until 1992 that project began in earnest.
The sculptures, located intentionally in the varied and often brutal landscapes doting the coast of the Atlantic, can be found in 33 of the 45 municipalities in the county. Intended to be “an art gallery without walls or a ceiling, covering an area of 40,000 km2″ the icy and almost otherworldly surroundings add a mystical and primal feel to art that though beautiful on it’s own, here takes on epic transcendant proportions.
Check out some of the amazing images below, and for those interested in visiting the sites for themselves, you can get more info on Artscape Nordland’s website.