Hilde Angel Danielsen
Hilde Angel Danielsen grew up in Troms county. She later studier at the Nordland Videoverkste and at the Kabelvåg Kunstskole before she moved towrads the south of Norway where she took a master’s degree at the Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen, in 2004 and with a specialization in artistic use of bricks as building modules for sculpture and / or an integral part of architecture. Later, her work has developed further towards installation art in the borderland towards sculpture and architecture. In 2010, Hilde Angel Danielsen was the very first guest artist in S12! Throughout the spring of 2021, she has participated in our Local AiR program.
Her spatial sculptures relate to both exteriors as interiors. In several of her earlier works we can see her preferred use of perforated bricks, as in her series called Transparent Tegl (transparent brick) where she creates both claddings, interior partition walls, and even ceilings or vaults. The surfaces can just as well be even or curved, and establish by their own positioning an integral sensation of spatiality, or rather inter-spatiality, not unlike the similar sensation felt by entering the massive sculptures of Richard Serra. The theme of the series is however, and as the name implies, transparency. Associations to the classical, Arabic and seductive mesh walls are obvious, which through its wickerwork or masonry laid in geometric patterns, form a continuous dialogue between an outside and an inside, between daylight and shadow.
In all their transparent abstraction, her works are nonetheless both figurative and specific. We find solid, tangible surfaces and recognizable shafts, or spirals. Hilde Angel Danielsen makes art out of conventional building materials. Not only bricks, but also wood boards, nails, windows and frames. With these robust tools she creates lines pulled out as from an accordion, and propelloed through the room into thin air, as in the installation Erindringsvindu from 2016.
Some of her works are also representative, such as the temporary and dismantlable wooden sculpture Time Goes By, from 2020, in which we clearly envisage a huge hourglass made out of siberian larch tree that lets sun and light flicker through the transparency of the construction, like rays of precious time. Others may resemble the mountains in the horizon, or waves against the shoreline. By applying such organic design in her monumental constructions, it can be tempting to compare the artist with great architects such as Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid. Hilde Angel Danielsen’s art is however more characterized by a pure simplicity that does not seek to impress, but to explain.
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger claimed that the classical Greek temples integrated, embraced and communicated the true content of the place itself. They unified the world of their immediate surroundings, and fulfilled their task just by standing there. Hilde Angel Danielsen’s architectural sculptures unite, in the same way, the landscapes they occupy in transparent monuments where we experience a content of close proximity with both the site itself, and time.
Similar to the temples of ancient Greece, the ‘hesjer’, (i.e. wooden structures of field racks for drying grass or cod-fish at the rocky shores) have characterized our Norwegian geography. These racks have unified the landscapes with its people in a common identity and mutual recognition. In her work with the not so poetic title Kultur and Industrial Openings 1, from 2008, the artist however replaced the conventional silver shining cod fish with sequins-sparkling CDs, and in An Entrance to an Exit, from 2005, she substituted the hay by leaving loads of plastic bags to dry on the racks. Like Time Goes By, also this work is temporary, dismantable and shaped like an hour-glass. Both works are about durability, sustainability and intangible values.
In these critical observations, the artist ties the past and the present with people in motion, and landscapes in development.
Norwegian artists Per Kleiva and Åse Texmon Rygh, who both have ancestry in the county of Troms, have been influential in Hildes work. In addition, she emphasizes in a conversation about her art that she is the daughter of a carpenter, and continues to contemplate all the construction sites she visited with her father. She remembers the smell of wood and the skeleton of the house. The basic structure. Everything that is visible before the cladding. Walking on floorboards in an unfinished building. Like the hay racs where she used to play.
Throughout her stay at S12 forming part of our Lokal AiR, spring 2021, she has explored glass as a possible material to supplement her art in her very exciting body of work.