When we walk up towards the main entrance to the Science building, a boat appears straight ahead. It is half buried in the ground, with the bow facing toward the main entrance as a pointer. The boat is part of the series Utvikling I-III (Development I-III), which consists of three sculptures of boats, placed a good distance from each other.
The buried boat outdoors, Development I, is the most abstract and primitivist of the three. The dark color and vertical orientation reflects the grid in the building’s facade. Going into the building, we find a second boat in the vestibule. It is placed in a rack on the ground, so we can move around it. The boat is somewhat smaller than Development I, and weighed down by a small boulder. We see the whole boat here, and it looks more like something you might decide to go trout fishing in.
The Science Building has several mezzanine floors, and in the topmost of these we find the building’s cafeteria. It is from here you can catch the best view of Development III, which hangs high and free from the ceiling. This boat is similar to a kayak. It is yellow, slender, and the smallest of the three. We can also see it from the floor below, but from there you would need good eyes to discover that this one also carries a stone in its hull. The stone is smaller than the boulder in Development II, but still heavy. The symbolism of the sculptures' placement, seen in connection with their titles, may be inspired by the idea of the University as a place for professional and personal growth, learning, and progress.
John Audun Hauge (1955-) works as a sculptor in Bergen. Hauge is very interested in things marine, and boats are often the inspiration for his sculptures. In the long series of public sculptures he has made, special mention should be given to the memorial of the tsunami victims in 2004, situated in Paradisbukta at Bygdøy. He has participated at the Autumn Exhibition six times and at the Western Exhibition five times. His pieces have been shown at a range of solo and group exhibitions, and can be found in most of the major public art galleries in Norway.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE