Imagine if you could see the world with different eyes ...
divided into innumerable individual parts and put together anew; nature, sky and earth surrounding you, enlarging your angle of vision or centering on the essential; you looking at it from a distance or standing in the centre, where the light falls into the eye and the vastness stretches out before you
... it would offer you unseen perspectives and allow you to perceive what surrounds you in new ways.
Eye of the North is an eight-meter-high and five-meter-wide mirror installation located on Lofoten, Norway. Standing on a small hill, the installation is visible from afar and allows visitors to look into the landscape. The elliptically shaped sculpture, with a concave vaulted front and a convex vaulted back, has a round opening in the middle with a diameter of 1.5 meter that can be reached via a small stair.
The reflecting surface consists of fragmented pieces mirroring the surrounding in an unfamiliar manner. The fragmentation of the sculpture creates a disjointed perception of the area, as if it is reconstructed by the combination of reflected fragments. The abstract composition of line, colour and form is reminiscent of the view through a kaleidoscope.
The vertices on the surface derive from a projection of a star-map inspired by the night sky above the Lofoten. The celestial projection of the northern hemisphere is used for the structure of the concave surface, the southern hemisphere for the convex side. Depending on the brightness of the corresponding star, they were moved along the normal of the idealized base surface. By connecting all these vertices with lines and spanning triangular surfaces between these connecting lines the initially smooth surface becomes a fragmented approximation of itself.
By looking at it, one can see three things simultaneously: The shape of the sculpture, its fragmented representation of the surroundings, and the viewer. The sunlight reflected by the sculpture on its concave side gives the visitor an additional sensual sensation. It gets very warm where the reflected beams intersect. This changes something very abstract like light rays into something very tangible like heat. And that brings us closer to the sun. And to all the other stars we are thus connected to.
By walking up the curved stairs on the convex side to rest on the platform inside the sculpture, the visitor becomes the center of the art piece and metaphorically speaking the center of the universe. It is the place where the visitor doesn't see the sculpture anymore, but where she or he gets a subliminal view of the world around. For a short moment, detached from the ground and changing perspective. With this, the focus shifts from the sculpture towards the person interacting with it. The sculpture emphasizes the interconnectedness of that particular person's life with all other life and all the stars of the universe. It is all one.
Materials: high polished stainless steel, substructure
Dimensions: 800 x 500 x 170 cm
Permanent installation at Langåsen Natur- og Skulpturpark, Svolvær, Lofoten, Norway
Photos by Kjell Ove Storvik, Odd-Petter Tanke Jensen / Discover Lofoten, Studio Jeppe Hein