The Spirit of Aalborg

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The spirit of Aalborg

If you want to gladden your senses, take them to Aalborg in Denmark. To the architecture of Alvar Aalto, to intimate icons, glorious glass and celebratory ceramics. Experience the spirit of Aalborg.

Some people are ambivalent about the North Jutland Museum of Art. It was designed by Finland’s great designer-architect Alvar Aalto and has such an unusual form that it quickly becomes a matter of whether the architecture detracts from the art, or allows the light to come in and enhance it.

The Spirit of Aalborg
Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg. Architect: Alvar Aalto

The spirit of Aalborg
But regardless of what you think about the museum itself, it is a great place to entertain the senses. Here you will find exciting specialist exhibitions, a sculpture park and amphitheatre concerts, films, lectures and much, much more. And if there should be no special activities while you are visiting, you can experience a permanent exhibition of Danish and international art from 1900 to the present day, which is just as exciting as the architecture.

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The Spirit of Aalborg
Artbreak Hotel is not a hotel at all, but a workshop gallery

Sensuous expression
Having left the museum, you can stroll down into the center of town, where you can visit Artbreak Hotel, which is not a hotel at all, but a workshop gallery. This is where artist Nils Sloth have set himself the task of challenging himself and his visitors. His expression is lively to put it mildly, and riotously colorful. In his pictures the senses are met by an almost overwhelming richness of expression.

The Spirit of Aalborg
Nils Sloth in his Artbreak Hotel

You have to stand back from his pictures to really take in the explosion of visual impressions. Figurative and abstract elements in all the colors of the artist’s palette, and using a variety of techniques all packet into the same picture, Nils works offer the eye a journey of exploration, and the possibility of getting lost in a veritable riot of sensuality.

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The Spirit of Aalborg
Glass made in Aalborg by Lene Højlund

Clear shapes
His daughter became a glass-blower? Certainly not! But Lene Højlund did just that. And when she came home with a schnapps glass that she had made for her father, his opposition melted as quickly as the glass fragments she feeds into her Glaspusteriet in central Aalborg. She has been there for most of the 31 years she has been blowing glass. Mostly clear glass. Because she thinks it is important to play with and challenge the transparency of the material.

The Spirit of Aalborg
Lene Højlund in her Glaspusteriet

“It is its very transparency which is special about glass. You mustn’t spoil that. But my pieces are also intended to brighten one’s existence. Not only through the use of color, but also through humor,” she says.

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At Lene’s place you will find pieces which make fine gifts both from and to 6-7 years-old. You will find that special wedding present, too. But Lene’s specialty is perhaps the gift that can be supplemented for years to come. She makes a lot of pieces which go together in series, like candlesticks, dishes, bowls, vases and serving trays. And in Lene’s glassware the light is allowed to shine through the glass and play with the colors.

The Spirit of Aalborg
From Gallery Lisbeth L in Aalborg

Unique glass beads
Lisbeth Larsen is a jewelry designer, who designs and makes unique glass beads by hand, using them in her jewellery designs together with other natural materials. No two beads are alike, and you can therefore always be sure to find an original and unique piece of jewellery at the gallery

In Nibe, just outside of Aalborg, you will find. In her Galleri Lisbeth L, she creates beautiful jewelry inspired by the colors of nature and current fashion trends.

To create the unique, and often very colorful jewelry, Lisbeth Larsen uses a special technique where glass rods are heated so they can be shaped around a steel mandrel. She then adds colors, thus forming different patterns.

The Spirit of Aalborg
Street art in Aalborg

Aalborg is perhaps best known to many for its nightlife. But the town is no less exciting by day, when it offers an abundance of culture, colors, shapes and sensuousness.

Feature image (on top): Water pavilion in Aalborg by Jeppe Hein

The Spirit of Aalborg, written by Tor Kjolberg

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