Seljord and the Legends Creates New Ways to Experience Cultural Landscapes

La Kagu

Seljord and the Legends, by Feste Landscape, Seljord, Norway. As a landscape architect, creating a space that allows others to experience the culture of a landscape can be difficult. In trying to portray a culture through design, things can get a little hokey or dull. Allowing those unfamiliar with that culture to understand and enjoy the site is also a challenge. This project, however, is seemingly effortless in its portrayal of stories into tangible creation. Feste Landscape’s thought-provoking project, Seljord and the Legends, shows how important cultural heritage is to experiencing a landscape in its entirety. The project is comprised of four art installations at different locations around Seljord Lake, close to the centre of Seljord, Norway. A walking path around the lake connects each piece, which includes “The Sauna” at Vebekkdalen, “The Fishing Point” at Telnesøyan, “The Lookout” at Grindekleiv, and “The Viewing Tower” at Bjørgeøyan. The installations work within a common framework and were designed with the intention of having visitors walk the path, coming across modern architectural pieces at natural stopping points.

Seljord and the Legends

“The Lookout Tower” at Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

Seljord and the Legends

The Sauna at Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

Seljord and the Legends

Each piece of art — created in simple geometric shapes of wood — has created a different way to view the lake. “The Viewing Tower”, for example, is a 15-meter-high tower with several open levels, creating viewing platforms that look out over the lake and valley. Pieces such as “The Viewing Tower” are more bold and striking in their abrupt materialization — a lone tower out of the landscape — while others, such as “The Fishing Point” (a flat wooden bridge between two boulders), blend and flow with the landscape. Each is unique, but has a common purpose: Each piece of contemporary art has been placed on sites associated with local tales and legend. 3 More Top Articles on LAN:

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Seljord and the Legends

“Fishing Point” at Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

Transforming Legend into Reality Seljord has a deeply ingrained storytelling tradition, with tales of the sea serpent that lives in Seljord Lake dating back to 1750. Stories such as this have been passed down through generations orally, a tradition that continues to this day. For most people within Seljord, these stories are intertwined with the identity and soul of the town. However, with local tales being only partly written down, it makes it difficult to convey such invisible aspects of the cultural landscape into something that can be experienced not only by locals, but also by visitors unfamiliar with the legends.
Seljord and the Legends

The “Viewing Stone” at Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

The “Viewing Stone” at Seljord and the Legends. Photo credit: Dag Jenssen

The Border Between Known Reality and Unknown Life The aim of this project was to allow visitors to experience the town’s landscape, legends, history, and art all at the same time along a pathway that acts as a storytelling mobile service. Feste wanted to create a physical border between the land and the water, which was done through the use of the raised wooden walkway. This also represents the border between known reality and unknown life under the surface of the lake, once again hinting at the legend of the sea serpent. Each of the art installations emerges from the site, adding something unique and mysterious and thus allowing for a new experience of both the tales and the landscape. Page one Continue Reading to Page 2 >>>

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