Hanne Friis, “Growing Gold”

When Hanne Friis first visited Sentralen, she got an idea of making a piece of art in gold.

Hanne Friis (born 1972) studied painting and sculpture at the Art Academy in Trondheim from 1992 to 1996, but is best known for her sculptural work in textiles. Friis works with time-consuming manual techniques where several metres of fabric are folded, sewn or wrapped together to form compact, organic sculptures that provide an experience of growth and change.

Her work has been purchased by several Norwegian museums and collections such as KODE Bergen, Nordenfjelske Kunstmuseum and Statoil. In recent years she has distinguished herself with textile works in several major exhibitions, such Vi lever på en stjerne (We live on a star) at the Henie-Onstad Art Centre (2014), Attention: Craft! at the Liljevalchs Art Gallery in Stockholm(2014), Tusen tråder (A thousand threads) at Lillehammer Art Museum (2013) and the Norwegian Sculpture Biennal at the Vigeland Museum (2013).

It was when Friis first visited Sentralen that she had the idea of making a sculpture in gold. The idea sprang from both the building's history as a bank where people's valuables and savings are kept, to the future cultural building designed to accommodate valuables of an entirely different nature.

About the work, Friis says:
“With gold-coloured fabric as my starting point, I wanted to make an open work that can generate many different and contradictory associations and thoughts. It might be to question what value is, to know 'the price of everything and the value of nothing' as Oscar Wilde put it, or the difference between genuine and non-genuine care. 'All that glisters is not gold' to quote William Shakespeare.”

The sculpture is located in the foyer area, behind the Directors' Hall, where the gold is literally growing out of the point where wall and ceiling meet. Like so many times before, Friis is playing with the ambivalence between the seductive and the grotesque. The rest of the room is in raw concrete and has a rough expression that stands in complete contrast with the shiny, sensual gold sculpture