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Norwegians cross paths at King’s Cross

On Thursday evening, Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the exhibition “Ørnulf Opdahl Paintings and Prints” in a London currently full of artists and musicians from the Sunnmøre District in Northwestern Norway .


Queen Sonja was in attendance at Kings Place Gallery in London on Thursday evening, where Ørnulf Opdahl is holding an exhibition in connection with the London Jazz Festival. Opdahl’s works are a visual complement to trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær’s concerts over the next several days as part of the Scene Norway 2 programme of music and readings at Kings Place. Using various types of artistic expression, Mr Opdahl and Mr Molvær explore their shared inheritance from the vistas of the city of Ålesund and the islands in the adjacent fjord.

Common point of reference

Nils Petter Molvær was born on Sula island outside Ålesund, which is one of the neighbouring islands to Godøya island, where Ørnulf Opdahl lives and works.

“A corner of my island frequently turns up in Opdahl’s paintings!” says Mr Molvær, who has named his record company Sula.

The tip of Sula mountain, with its characteristic shape, is visible from artist Opdahl’s sitting room window, and is an important element in many of his paintings.

More artists from the district

According to curator Mara-Helen Wood, there are also musical and geographical links between many of the artists who will be performing at Scene Norway 2 during the next several days.

Folk violinist Annbjørg Lien and singer Hilde Marie Kjersem also have roots in the landscape around Ålesund, and will respond directly to Mr Opdahl’s paintings and prints with music during their concerts in London. Children’s book author Maria Parr, who is from the Sunnmøre district as well, will hold a family-friendly reading of her extremely popular book “Waffle Hearts” on Saturday, 16 November.

Ørnulf Opdahl’s works will be on display from 15 November through 24 January at Kings Place Gallery.  

Queen Sonja tells of her art project and the Queen Sonja Art Award (in Norwegian) (Video: Finland MTV3 and Christian Lagaard, The Royal Court, Stills: Rolf M. Aagaard)

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