Playground of Contemporary Art in Denmark

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A new art playground opens in Charlottenlund on the coast north of Copenhagen in May this year. Olafur Eliasson, Jeppe Hein and other major figures in the art world will be contributing to the new art playground at Ordrupsgaard, thanks to a DKK 16.9 million grant from Nordea-fonden.

Mike Doug Starn, Big Bamboo
Mike and Doug Starn, Big Bamboo

In May 2016 the popular museum Ordupgaard will be adding an art playground to its grounds, where children and the young at heart can have fun with art in the open air.

The project will last for three years, and the works in the Art Playground have been created by Danish and international artists, and are designed to offer opportunities for play and sensory experiences.

Olafur Eliasson’s sculpture envelops its surroundings in fog every time the wind changes direction (feature image, on top).

Jeppe Hein, close-up of water pavillion
Jeppe Hein, close-up of water pavillion

Jeppe Hein’s water pavilion tempts you into a world of water jets.

The Japanese artist Terunobu Fujomori invites visitors into a teahouse among the park’s treetops, while US artist duo Doug & Mike Starn provide a labyrinthine bamboo construction for playground guests to climb around and through.

Terunobu Fujimoro, Teahouse, Kanagawa, Japan, 2003
Terunobu Fujimoro, Teahouse, Kanagawa, Japan, 2003

All of the works are being created especially for Ordrupgaard, and are intended to encourage free play, far from hushing custodians and admonishing fingers.

Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark
Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark

“Free play is important, and it has a positive effect all the way into adulthood,” explains Ordrupgaard’s Director, Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark. “Play is where we challenge ourselves. It’s how we explore, sense, act out and experience important aspects of being a human being. Through play, the child develops the basic skills required to become a competent and active participant in society, and Ordrupgaard aims to support this development through the works in the art playground, while at the same time creating a platform where children and adults can share experiences of art in a playful universe within a natural setting.”

Mogens Hugo
Mogens Hugo

“The Art Playground represents a fun and playful way to experience major works by leading contemporary artists. We are pleased to be able to give children and adults free access to step on both the grass and the art in the park at Ordrupgaard,” says Mogens Hugo, chairman of Nordea-fonden. “Our aim is to support activities which promote living the good life.”

The Art Playground will be free to visit, and with the support of Nordea-fonden, Ordrupgaard will also be offering a wide range of other activities, such as a children’s art parade, play days and treasure hunts linked to the artworks.

The artworks of The Art Playground will be installed at Ordrupgaard in 2016-18 as features located round about in the museum’s art park, carefully integrated into the natural surroundings. The first work, the sculpture Vær i vejret (‘Be in the Weather’) by Olafur Eliasson, will be the first to be inaugurated in May 2016 with a large garden party, to which all are welcome.

Playground of Contemporary Art in Denmark, source: Ordrupgaard