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First light art installation at UiA revealed

On 10 January, the art piece "High Lights" by artist Tor Einstabland was revealed at Campus Grimstad’s library.

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Tor Einstabland and curator Mette-Line Pedersen at light art installation, photo
The work "High Lights" in Campus Grimstad’s library was opened by artist Tor Einstabland and curator Mette-Line Pedersen.

The University of Agder (UiA) has an extensive art collection containing works of both Norwegian and international artists. For the first time, the collection now includes an art installation made out of light. 

The work "High Lights" has been created by the artist Tor Einstabland and placed in the recesses high up on the wall in Campus Grimstad’s library. The shapes of the installation bring to mind books being stacked and placed with various spacing and height. 

The fluorescent lamps use the same effect as emergency exit signs and will glow for a while after having been turned off. The artist wants this to be a reminder of the possibility to be "independent, breaking free and searching for your own free thoughts”.

Diversity and individuality 

Kunstner Tor Einstabland foran verket "High Lights", foto

Artist Tor Einstabland in front of the work "High Lights".

"Each lamp represent individual beings, and as a whole they represent diversity. It shows strength through fellowship. Comfort. The regular human. The unique. The independent, and those who prefer to walk together," according to the artist’s description of the work. 

"Personally, I have never gotten as far a university degree, but I wanted to make something that praises and honours the value of this room and the people here, the thoughts and creations," Einstabland said.

The artist has previously been represented by a photograph in UiA’s art collection. "High Lights" is his first time working with a light installation.

"For a long time, I have wanted to work with fluorescent lamps because it is a really nice-looking and tough material. When this opportunity presented itself in Grimstad, everything fell into place," he said.

Library, technology and creativity

The recesses in the library wall have previously been filled by posters of art piece reproductions. Together with the curator of the UiA image collection, Mette-Line Pedersen, the library gave the artist free reigns regarding choice of expression.

"We wanted the artist to use the room and the architecture. We challenged him to come up with an idea revolving around the library, technology, creativity and diversity at UiA," Pedersen said.

She mentions that the placement in the library made it necessary for the work to have a neutral expression that provided peace for studying.

The installation has a budget of NOK 48,000. In addition to this light art installation, UiA has an audio art piece on Campus Kristiansand. The work "Small deposits" by Jan Bang and Jo Brodtkorb is located in the unisex bathrooms in Vrimlehallen.