During my time in Västerås Sweden I had the amazing opportunity to tour Brixelgarden Sculpture Park, home of the famous sculptor Richard Brixel, along with the Vasteras Science Park CEO, Caroline Drabe, and Arboga Head of Economic Development, Göran Dahlén. Brixel’s work is thought-provoking, provocative, and beautiful. The sculpture garden was located at his personal residence located in Arboga Sweden and had many of his pieces on display throughout the property. I was also able to tour through the studio space where he begins with sketches and then moves on to wireframes and small-scale initial concepts in clay.
After the tour, we discussed the many benefits of including art in the creation of new spaces and the reimagination of existing ones. I came away from our discussion with several considerations for those committed to creating exceptional places that inspire:
- Art should be included in the planning and budgeting processes of a project from the beginning. Creating dynamic places that spur the imagination and inspire creativity requires the inclusion of art. Just as we think of furnishings and lighting, art should be thought of as necessary to complete a space. Art can not be treated as an afterthought… it is integral!
- Art should be as accessible and interactive as possible. Particularly in public spaces where families and children will be present, the ability to interact and experience art with your eyes, but also through the sense of touch and even sound and smell brings people closer and sets apart these areas unique for people to explore and return again to share with others.
- The presence of art is most impactful when it makes a statement or conjures a question from within a person. A social impact, an expression of beauty, or invoke curiosity… art should always require the viewer to consider what the piece means for their own perspectives.
The expression of art can often be a bridge between worlds: such as communications, social policy, data, and technology…. or materials and science through visual expressions that others can appreciate and make their own. One example that was offered during our conversation was the “Peace Monuments of War Materials” in Arboga. This project was a gathering of artistic pieces that made statements about world peace in a variety of ways by using old military and artillery equipment as the medium. It is projects such as this that are both intriguing, internally reflective, and beautiful …. The video below provides additional information about this amazing project:
Unfortunately, our time together had to draw to a close, but the shadows of the images and the brilliance of Brixel remain. I am now convinced more than ever of the necessity for art in our lives…