Wanås Konst: Contemporary art, nature and history meet in Wanås
By Malin Norman
On the beautiful Wanås estate, site-specific contemporary sculptures and installations are displayed among old beech and oak trees. The leading international sculpture park is a centre for art and knowledge, aiming to be accessible to everyone.
Wanås Konst is one of the foremost destinations in the region of Skåne. The international sculpture park is a centre for art and knowledge, where the medieval castle, surrounding park, and forest of old beech and oak trees provide a stunning backdrop.
In this magical setting, visitors can experience around 75 site-specific artworks by artists such as Yoko Ono, Rana Begum and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. In addition to the permanent collection, comprehensive temporary exhibitions and site-specific projects are displayed both outdoors and indoors in farm buildings from the 18th century. Wanås Konst also offers accompanying programmes including tours, workshops and artist talks for a broad audience.
“The first time I came to Wanås in 2000, I had a bit of a ‘wow’ moment,” admits Mattias Givell, co-director of Wanås Konst. “Instead of a standard gallery with all-white rooms, art is displayed in relation to the surrounding greenery, in an open-air environment with sun, rain and wind, and in a historical context. It’s a completely different setting, which opens up for a lot of opportunities and interpretations.”
Wanås Konst’s visions for the future
The art activities at Wanås were initiated in 1987 by founder Marika Wachtmeister. Since 1995, Wanås Konst has been run by the non-profit Wanås Art Foundation, and Mattias Givell became director in 2011, together with Elisabeth Millqvist. Over 300 artists have participated in exhibitions and projects over the years.
The sculpture park is open all year round, and around 80,000 visitors come to experience the sculptures and installations, annually. “Our goal is contemporary art and culture for all. Everyone, regardless of background and age, should be able to access and experience art,” says Givell.
Every year, up to 10,000 children take part in educational activities such as tours and workshops at Wanås. “It’s important to connect art to what is happening in the world. Our aim is to be a hub for artists and progressive learning, and to connect the two. Here, you’ll encounter different art expressions, and we embrace artists that invite participation and co-creation.”
Peter Linde Busk and Numen/For Use
From May to November, Wanås Konst presents two exciting new projects with artists who are driving change and pushing material development from a sustainability perspective. Contemporary Danish artist Peter Linde Busk is best known for his paintings, but also works with other techniques and materials, such as ceramics. Recycling is part of his approach, and at Wanås Konst, his first outdoor artwork is on display: a sculpture made with a method he developed himself – a giant pumpkin that visitors can walk inside.
Industrial design collective Numen/For Use also explores sustainable alternatives in their works. The group created an intricate construction and cocoon-like shapes made out of biodegradable tape that fills up and spreads out from the 50-metre-long and 14-metre-tall building. Visitors are invited to view or physically explore the installation, take a closer look and discover cavities in the structure.
In September, Wanås Konst will premiere Where does anything actually begin?, a collection of lesser-known images by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm (1918-2002), displayed in the park together with works by international artists Annika von Hausswolff, Aziz Hazara, Gosette Lubondo, Eric Magassa, and Eiko Otake with William Johnston. “This exhibition tells the story of Strömholm’s fascinating work but in a very different setting,” explains Givell. “By pairing his images with contemporary artists, we show the link between the past and the present, and how modern his approach really was.”
Wanås is located in north-eastern Skåne, approximately 1.5 hours from Malmö and two hours from Kastrup. On site, visitors will find Wanås Konst with a design shop, a local food deli and a lunch café. If you want to stay longer, you can book dinner and stay overnight at Wanås Restaurant Hotel. Web: www.wanaskonst.se Facebook: Wanås-Konst Instagram: @wanaskonst
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