Lene Baadsvig Ørmen



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In Subterranea we encounter a deserted urban landscape constructed of raw industrial materials, inhabited only by a number of strange animals. The animals have a familiarity to species we have seen before, either in pictures or in reality. But the technique Lene Baadsvig Ørmen has used to mold the animals opens up for abstractions and distortions. The bronze sculptures are not created from models in plaster or clay, but formed out of negative imprints shaped in sand, which are then filled with liquid bronze.

In result, the casted objects can be difficult to date at first glance - they might look like objects found in the ground, remnants of a former civilization, affected by the ravages of time.

The organically shaped bronze casts linger between the two- and three dimensional. They find their support by embracing or clinging onto closed metal pipe systems. These metal tubes are not merely a stand, but an integrated part of the sculptural object; a coupling of natural bodies with prosthetic devices. Between the mass-produced elements and the innocent, uniquely casted animals there lays a darker undertone. Do the almost cyborg-like qualities empower the animals, or do the tubes imprison them like cages?

Subterranea presents a condensed atmosphere of both fictional narrative and material exploration. Baadsvig Ørmen’s sculptures reveal an anthropological interest – they invite us to think about the conceptions we have about the natural and the artificial, and about the relationship between animals and humans as they have played out in different cultures and throughout history.

Subterranea was previously shown at Norsk Billedhoggerforening in Oslo, 25. Mai – 07. July 2019.

Lene Baadsvig Ørmen (b. 1984) studied at Kunsthøgskolen, Bergen (BA), Estonian Academy of the Arts (Erasmus exchange programme) and Kunstakademiet, Oslo (MA). Since completing her education in 2013, she has held solo exhibitions at Billedhuggerforeningen in Oslo (2019), Gallery Augusta in Helsinki (2017), Kunstnerforbundet (2016), UKS (2015), Kunsthall Stavanger (2015) and Another Space, Copenhagen (2014). She has also participated in several group exhibitions, including at Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger (2020), Fiskars Village Art Biennale, Finland (2019), Ram Galleri, Oslo (2018), Akershus Kunstsenter (2018), Galereie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen (2017), Kunsthall Oslo (2017) Viborg Kunsthall (2017), the Drawing Biennial at Tegnerforbundet (2016) and Autocenter, Berlin (2016).


Hordaland Art Centre based in Bergen, Norway was established 1976 as the first artist run art centre in Norway. Its activities are based around the exhibition programme with equal emphasis on seminars, presentations and dialogue. Since 1987 Hordaland Art Centre has hosted a Nordic residency programme, from 2008 also open to international artists, curators, writers and other art professionals.