Norwegian Artist Vanessa Baird made the Nobel Peace Prize Diploma 2018 this summer before she had a clue about who would get the prize.
“It is always nice to be invited in to such prominent company,” says critically acclaimed Norwegian painter Vanessa Baird (54). Thus, the contemporary artist accepted the commission to illustrate the Nobel diploma. Not that this opportunity necessarily featured on top of her wish-list.
A concerned artist
Vanessa Baird has distinguished herself as one of the strongest and most uncompromising voices in contemporary Norwegian art. As an artist, Vanessa Baird has been very concerned with the shadow sides of society, often horrendousness that many people do not have the stomach to deal with. This year’s Nobel diploma is no exception: It addresses the refugee crisis.
Next to the Rococo Room at the Grand Hotel in Oslo where the Nobel banquet takes place December 10, you’ll find the Palmen restaurant. Baird’s work «I am You are she /he /it is They are» (2017) consisting of 36 paintings is displayed there. When she wanted to transfer the mood from these paintings into the Nobel diploma, she ended up with two solutions.
Norwegian Artist Vanessa Baird made the Nobel Peace Prize Diploma 2018
“I made two alternatives, and three of each, as there can be up to three winners,” she said. “The chosen alternative was less frightening than the other, but the choice was not mine to make,” she added.
This year’s Nobel diploma was unveiled at the Nobel Peace Center on Saturday, October 6, the day after the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, which is the tradition.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”
Public may enjoy the Oslo Peace Days, eight days of events in December, arranged jointly by The Nobel institutions, the University of Oslo and the City of Oslo. Read the full program here.
You might also like to read: 10 Top Attractions in Oslo
About Vanessa Baird
Vanessa Baird grew up with a Norwegian father and Scottish mother. Her parents lived apart from each other. This dual culture upbringing has influenced Baird. She spent parts of her childhood in hospital, and has been drawing since she was young. Drawing brought her calm. Her development path lead to the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (1982–1985), Royal College of Art in London (1985–1987) and the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts (1988-1991).
Asked what feelings she hopes her Grand Hotel paintings might evoke in a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, she says that she hopes he or she will ponder the enormity of our world. She ends by quoting the dear departed Danish musician, Kim Larsen:
“What good is a government, if not to aid the weak. The strong are gonna be just fine”.
Norwegian Artist Vanessa Baird made the Nobel Peace Prize Diploma 2018, based by a press release from the Norwegian Nobel Institute.