Having met many Norwegians artists while at Nuart in Aberdeen earlier this year, I was hopeful of seeing plenty of high-quality pieces on my recent trip, and I was not disappointed. Some of the ports I visited were covered with snow, it was dark for a great deal of the time and sadly most of the art in Vardø had been painted over by the time I got there despite me being told that there were really great pieces there.
From Molde & Vardø & Hammerfest
In Molde, the city of roses, I could only find one piece, a large gable end mural of a rose, while I had to fight my way through deep snow to find the few pieces I found in Vardø, the best of them being the one by Norwegian artist Pøbel, called locally “the Codfather” depicting Marlon Brando holding a large fish with the statement “Laks Erviktig for Norway”, which translates as “Salmon is important for Norway”. I was quite surprised to find a really great piece by the Russian artist Rustam QBic in Hammerfest, the northernmost town in the world.
If there’s one thing I couldn’t help noticing in Bodø, it was the street art, apparently, they had an UpNorth Festival in 2015, I researched a bit before we docked so I knew where the main pieces were, all I had to do was pop the addresses into Google Maps and off I went in search.
I was not disappointed, I discovered that there really was an international collection of art from British artist Phlegm, the Belgian Dzia, who painted a nice lion in Tontine Lane in Glasgow in 2016. The Spaniard David de la Mano, and from Argentina came Animalito, works by Italian artist, Francesco Camillo Giorgino, known as Millo and another spectacular piece by Rustam QBic complemented pieces by the Norwegians Martin Watson from Oslo and Atle Østerm from Stavanger
There were also quite a few smaller piece of no lesser quality to be found in Bodø, some are shown below.
Sandnessjøen was an interesting place, I spotted the painting of the Hare, by the Russian artist Alexander Menukov, at the end of one of the dockside buildings as we arrived for a shortstop. I quickly got changed into some warmer clothing and dashed ashore to take some photographs, on the way back to the ship I spotted some more paint on another wall, this turned out to be a spectacular piece by the Italian artist, Jorit, as I turned the corner of the building even more great pieces appeared in front of my camera, a wall by Italian/Spanish artist Leticia Mandragora blew me away, so much so that I had to run back to the ship as the horn blew for its departure.
As I spent a little longer in Bergen at the end of the trip, I was able to search out some of the city’s big pieces, I have shown them on a page dedicated to them, you can see them here.