Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sometimes when you're travelling you come across something so fantastic, so amazing, that you couldn't have ever believed it existed. And when you try to tell other people about it, it will be but a mere shade of its actual self. Vigeland Sculpture Park is one of those places. This is a place that needs to, not even be seen - it needs to be experienced - to be believed,
For some reason this garden is located off of most tourists maps, but grabbing a copy of the Visitors Map from the metro stations will quickly show you the easiest way there. Tram number 12. Though it's accessible through other means, tram 12 will let you off right at the front gates.
Stepping through you'll be confronted by an ever opening expanse; it's best to take a picture of the posted map to refer to later when you're wondering if you've seen everything.
This is a garden with well over one hundred pieces located within it. You'll see the first few dozen as you cross the main bridge. It's said that each piece represents one stage in a humans life cycle. And while, at times, it can be cryptic – other pieces will speak to you immediately, and directly.
Walking the garden is like exploring a deck of tarot cards – except tarot cards might be a tad easier to understand. All the major arcana are represented within this garden (though most likely unintentional), and turning these works into a deck might be a project worth exploring.
Once across the bridge, you'll see a fountain surrounded by even more pieces, and beyond that the great monolith towering into the air. All the bodies entwined with one another, located here, were carved out of one piece of stone. And the work itself needed to be moved to this location, in the pre-motorized era.
Surrounding this piece are a number of other pieces, all working around a similar theme, continuing to depict the human life.
And still, there is more. Passing beyond the monolith, you'll find yourself walking towards a piece representing all the astrological signs, and then beyond it is a great circle, created by bodies grasping bodies.
Once you've reached this seemingly final work, you may think that your exploration is at an end. Of course, you missed the circle of children and babies just to the left of the bridge when you came in – and there are other sculptures tucked away at the extreme wings, not to mention more still hidden away as the paths cross through the trees.
Without a doubt this is the most fantastic thing I've ever seen in the entire world (Victoria Harbour on Vancouver Island being the last to hold that title.)