Concrete may be art as well

Concrete is an exciting and versatile material that can be used for much more than building elements and highway bridges. To raise awareness of concrete’s many uses, we have supported the Norwegian artist Marit Benthe Norheim’s large-scale art project called Life-boats.

The project aims to create three sculptures in concrete, which will become functional boats shaped like female figures. The boats are scheduled to sail from Northern Jutland via Zealand and out on canals and rivers in Europe. Here, they will exchange cultures with people in the places the ships visit. Many cities, countries and organizations have shown keen interest in visiting the “Life-boats”. Poland has, among others, already signed up as recipients of the sailing sculptures.

For many years now, Norheim has used concrete for its unique and often very large sculptures and ornamentation work – often with the support of Aalborg Portland. Her work has been exhibited in most of Scandinavia and as far apart as Trafalgar Square in London and the National Gallery in Botswana. She says that the concrete challenges fascinates her as an artist, as it is very flexible, but also provides resistance along the way. Despite working with other materials as well, she always returns “home” to the concrete again, as she puts it.

The first boat is titled “My life is loaded with longing.” The production of this boat is well underway and has involved experts in shipbuilding etc. and a lot of volunteers. Recently, Aalborg Portland delivered four tones of white cement and by Whitsun they started casting.

The drawings for the other two boats are ready, while funding is not yet in place, and, therefore, it is unclear when it will be possible to see the boats on water.

You can read more about the project here.