IMPRINTS.

Imprints - Scandinavia's largest ceramic sculpturepark at Fornebuporten.




The sculpture park consists of works solely by Norwegian artist Magne Furuholmen and is the largest collection of ceramic works in Scandinavia today. Totalling more than 50 tons of clay, the park consists of individual objects placed together as a thematic whole with the material as a contrast to the ultramodern glass- and aluminum-coated facades of the surrounding Fornebuporten buildings.

The largest objects are 6 meters tall and weigh around 9 tons each. The sculptures are placed both in freestanding positions as well as in granite-pools, with the use of water and steam as atmospheric elements to reflect the changing seasons of the year.

The project seeks to capture the Fornebuporten’s ambition to bring in all the experience and know-how from industrial activities and energy resource management in order to form a hub for future research and development activities in these all-important fields.

The artist has chosen point this axis of history, present and future as a point of departure - partly by choosing ultra-traditional materials and techniques such as ceramics and archaic forms such as jars (amphorae), columns, and sarcophagus-like sculptures done in a contemporary way, in order to create a feeling of suspension between something rold and something new. the artist views the objects and forms as ambigous; part ruins of old, part building-blocks of some new undefined architectural plan, somewhere between the archaeological and industrial.

In addition there is a text universe with words and poetry that can be traced around the forms, directly hammered into the soft material prior to firing one letter at a time. The texts relate to the same theme in a more open and abstract way intended to create curiosity, discovery and inspiration. Central in the texts are also the Latin words; ‘Conservare', ‘Inspirare', and ‘Creare’, in the meaning ‘preserve' (of experience and knowledge), ‘inspire' (to innovation), and ‘create' (produce the new).

The word IMPRINTS is the overall title of the sculpture park, and artist Magne Furuholmen has emphasized two of the Wikipedia definitions of the word:

  1. To impress / stamp a mark or outline into a (soft) material
  2. To create a long lasting impact / effect

The two large glazed jars, each 6 meters in height can be considered centre-pieces of the project. From ancient times jars have been used for storing something of value; water, oils, food, as well as parchments and important writings. 9 ceramic columns ranging in height from about 220 cm to about 400 cm are divided between two water-pools, with 4 columns in one and 5 columns in the second pool.

These are intended as meditative elements placed in a kind of rhythmic relation to the buildings and surroundings.


The 9 columns give associations to ruins from bygone times as well as a kind of unfinished architecture or elements in an ongoing building process.

The columns are made in a combination of temuku-glazed and unglazed ceramics. They are covered with words, letters, and shapes punched or pushed directly into the material surface. The columns are neutral in shape at the outset, but formed and deformed by various processes before firing, without losing their vertical orientation.

In the atrium below, ceramic tiles are laid down in the granite-covered floor to form a horizontal element. The tiles are colored glazed stoneware, and a more modest and fragmented series of works where one is able to read words and sentences etched into the ground. From street level or higher above these tiles form large letters to reveal readable words and anagrams of the park's title; Imprints.

In addition, a series of sculptures in the form of blocks / low walls sharing of space between the large jars, as a kind of intermediate stage between the vertical and horizontal elements, and are 'usable’ sculptures, allowing the visitors to lean against, to sit or lie down on.

Photo by Lars Gundersen

It is the hope of Fornebuporten that this sculpture-park becomes a destination in itself and that the works will continue to inspire and wow users of the area for many years to come.