Columns in water

”Columns in water”

The sculpture was made with funds from ’Henrik Christensens Kunstfond’. In the early 1990’s the Fund’s Board decided to raise a large work of art in, or around, the lake in Hvalsø.

The board invited 4 artists to participate in a selection process. They would then select one of the proposals.

The work had to be done in granite and symbolize Hvalsø. Running water as well as the lake and the surrounding area could also be part of the artwork.

Both the board and the citizens of Hvalsø liked the proposal ‘Columns in Water’ the best and therefor it was chosen as the winning proposal. Sculptor Ole Christensen had made a small clay-model. It united the four corners of the world with a solar clock that would show spring and autumn equinox in which the beams of the sun would shine right through the columns at 6am and 6 pm.

A little Stonehenge, he said.

In the middle it would have a small fountain that could be lit up at night and once an hour, on the hour, it would rise and mark the time.

In this way the four elements, earth, air, fire and water were incorporated in the piece, as well as the rotation of the earth and the passage of time.

Ole Christensen originally apprenticed as a stonemason. His apprenticeship ended when he was 19 and he was accepted to the sculptor line at the Academy of Fine Arts.

In his winning project Ole Christensen had carefully described how he would form the sculpture.

Moseløkke granite quarry – the raw block of granite. (photo: Poul Ricard Christensen)

In August ’91, the Board visited Ole Christensen in his studio on Bornholm.

They went to the Moseløkke granite quarry near Hammershus to see the raw block of granite that the sculptor had chosen for the work. He walked around the block of granite which weighed 16 tons while patting it lovingly and showering it with water, so they could see the reflection of light in the wet granite.

When finalizing terms and agreements and signing the final contract, Ole gave the Board a 10.000 -year- guarantee on the granite.

The Board spent the following year preparing the area for the sculpture. The contractors E. Mortensen and sons used the low water levels of the summer to cast a strong foundation in the lake.

Ole Christensen brought the sculpture from Bornholm by truck and the Contractor was prepared for the difficult task of erecting the tall and heavy sculpture. It took Erik Mortensen 3 associates, a crane, a truck, an excavator and 3 attempts to complete it.

(They had to put out rubble and iron plates in order for the crane to stand steadily.

The contractor and the artist worked well together on the small platform on top of the foundation and within the day the sculpture was erect.)

Mounting the first column (photo: Poul Ricard Christensen)

After a hectic summer containing studies of the floor of the lake, making sure the coordinates to the four corners of the world were exact, installing lights in the fountain and applying for additional funds, came a great opening reception. It also functioned as the finishing event of that year’s Culture Week.

It was an incredible night, the light reflected off of the lake and about 700 people came by and heard the speeches from head of the Board Michael Lyng Hansen, the Minister for Culture, Grethe Rostbøl and the Mayor of Hvalsø, Hilmer Fenger.

(The Music school and singer Anders Roland provided musical entertainment and the event was finished with festive fireworks.)

Ole Christensen hoped that the sculpture would contribute to an abundance of cultural activities in Hvalsø to the delight of both citizens and visitors.

Aut. EL-installationsfirma Jens Kristiansen v/ Gerda Kristiansen.
Entreprenør og Ingeniørfirma E.Mortensen og Sønner Aps.
Henrik Christensen’s Kunstfond.
Hvalsø Grundejerforening.
Hvalsø Kommune.
Jesper´s  VVS.
KARA / Mokra.
SiD Hvalsø og Omegn.