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The waiting room of the Medical Outpatients’ Department Sørlandet Sykehus Arendal.

Paal-Helge Haugen: Texts Barbro Raen Thomassen: Images


Strange and often exceedingly beautiful forms of SEED exist in a million varieties all around us. In the air, flying on the wind, carried by humans or animals, unaware that a seed or even hundreds of seeds may be found on their sleeve or on their fur. They are carried to new waysides, ditches, fields and meadows, flowerbeds and rubbish dumps. One single plant can send out from a couple of hundred to many thousands of seeds. Usually we do not even notice them as they are so small.


And yet the potential within a seed is overwhelming. As is the richness of its numerous symbolic interpretations. A seed can express a new beginning, life, opportunity and hope – in its largest sense. This is meaningful to me when placing my work here, in a place where people wait – in a hospital. The installation consists of 44 elements – 17 texts and 27 images – all about seeds or related to seed. The works are hung both high at low, seemingly at random on the three walls – as if the wind had blown the seeds just there.


The seeds were first enlarged and carved in pale limestone, like sculpture. They were then photographed and applied with emulsion to water colour paper. This technique is called Liquid Light, or Silver Gelatine, and is a photographic process. The Liquid Light emulsion is applied to a given material (which could be just about anything), it is then illuminated and developed like a photograph.


Those who wait have time, two minutes, two hours... Those who wait can keep their mind on one element or several. The waiting room has no windows. Instead the seed elements will serve as small openings on to something else, another place, further out, or further in.


Barbro Raen Thomassen


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