Four Nordic installations that are anything but minimalist

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Friday, July 28, 2017 - 12:35

You might think you know all about Nordic design and aesthetics, but four free installations on show now at Southbank Centre could well give you a new perspective.

They couldn’t be further away from the clean, minimalistic vibe so many of us associate with the region. Instead they range from the playful to the grotesque – and, with their interactive elements, are great for entertaining children.

All feature as part of our Nordic Matters celebrations.

Find out more here

The Gnome King by Kalle Mustonen

Gnomes play a significant role in many Nordic folk traditions, and our Gnome King is as enigmatic as any you’ll have come across. For one thing, he’s very big! And while he’s a member of royalty, he resembles a traditional garden gnome. You can peek inside him, where you’ll discover the Gnome King is also a shed. Is he asleep – or something more sinister?

Visit him for free today, he’s lying down on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, until Wednesday 30 August 2017.

Kalle Mustonen Gnome King

Kalle Mustonen is a Finnish sculptor working in Lahti and Helsinki. Gnomes have figured extensively in his work.

Gnome King

Appearing Rooms by Jeppe Hein

You and your kids might think of this popular summer pop-up as ‘the fountain’, but did you know that it is actually a playful, interactive sculpture?

It uses walls made of water to form four ‘rooms’. The trick is that a randomised sequence means that the walls rise and fall, changing the shape of the rooms without any warning and sometimes giving participants a soaking.

It’s also a super fun way to cool down on a hot day – and free to visit. You can find Appearing Rooms on Festival Terrace until Sunday 24 September 2017.

1 Jeppe Hein's Appearing Room Fountains

Appearing Rooms

Modified Social Benches NY by Jeppe Hein

Park benches are a common sight in cities everywhere, but ours are sure to catch your eye as you wander around Southbank Centre.

Not only are they a very vibrant colour, but they turn the traditional design of a seat on its head. These park benches twist and turn in unusual ways, to make sure that sitting on them becomes a conscious process, if not always a comfortable one.

They’re also fun to climb on, provide great locations for photos and are completely free to use. You can find them in various outdoor locations across our site until Sunday 24 September 2017.

Jeppe Hein's Modified Social Benches

Jeppe Hein is a Danish artist. He recently held an exhibition called Jeppe Hein: Please Touch The Art.

Modified Social Benches NY

Falling Shawls by Outi Pieski

The Sami people, indigenous to northern areas of what is now Norway, Sweden and Finland, are famous for their intricate weaving techniques. This artwork uses a thousand handcrafted shawls, made by 12 Sami women, to create what Outi Pieski calls a ‘drawing in the air’. The result is a colourful, beautiful display which transforms delicate garments into a striking installation.

You can see Falling Shawls by visiting Level 2, Royal Festival Hall – or try climbing the stairs for a different perspective. How many shawls can you count? Runs until Sunday 31 December 2017.

Outi Pieski, Fallen Shawls, 2017 - Part of Nordic Matters

Outi Pieski is a Finnish-Sami visual artist from Utsjoki, the Sami area in northern Finland.

Falling Shawls