Sigrid Voll Bøyum: Dråpe-stasjonen

Photo: Mina Paasche

18 June – 04 July 2021

The exhibition «Dråpe-stasjonen» presents works by Sigrid Voll Bøyum that she has produced in her first year as a newly graduated artist. The exhibition is an encounter with a materiality that aims to reflect the characters of water; liquid, solid and steam. In this exhibition, the human body is thought of as a stopping point in the water’s cyclical journey, and the water itself a volatile container for time. Visitors are invited to fill water on the sculpture “Dråpe-stasjonen” and write down the water’s journey and history in a “hyttebok” that is included in the exhibition.

Historically, fountains have been erected as a monument to culture that triumphs over nature. The “waterwork” holds the intention of a negotiation. 

With an exploratory approach, Sigrid Voll Bøyum’s practice is mainly material- and technique based. The basis for her compositions is a bodily reading of space. Bøyum’s work is diverse and includes drawing, sculpture, installation, painting, video and performance. Bøyum has a formal interest and recurring fascination for the meeting point between bearing structures, towards the organic, utilizing 2 and 3 dimensionally negative spaces, and an attraction towards the movable. According to Sigrid, the color pink carries the strongest force for defiance, and all materials have something to say. Linguistic images, nature and human interventions serve as inspiration in Bøyums work. 

Sigrid Voll Bøyum (b.1988) holds an MFA from Kunstakademiet i Trondheim (2020). In 2017, she was in Gerswalde, Uckermark, Germany through the EEA (European Exchange Academy) , an international summer academy for art students. Recent activity includes shows at Galleri Blunk (Trondheim), Kunsthall 15 (Trondheim) and Fredag (Sogn og Fjordane). Sigrid Voll Bøyum is based in Trondheim.  


This exhibition is made possible with support from Trondheim Municipality, Arts Council Norway and Kunstmuseet Nord-Trøndelag.


Photo: Mina Paasche

Can you step into this exhibit twice?

Geir Bergersen Huse, Trondheim 28 May 2021

When you enter Babel in Mellomveien you might think you understand what is going on. But everything here is not as it seems. Sigrid Voll Bøyum is trying to trick you: She will make you think that movement is stagnation, that surfaces are three-dimensional and that gravity can be negated.

In «Vatn-verk» (Water work) everything is moving. This sculpture is a hydrological cycle, a fountain made up of eight containers where the water is circulated, mixed and reused. The sculpture contains holy water from Saint Olaf’s well, ungodly tap water from Babel and remotely sourced river water from Hungary. Water is a paradoxical substance. It is transparent and inorganic, without taste or smell, yet essential to all life. The water you drank this morning was deliciously fresh, even though some of the molecules were more than four billion years old. Water is one of the few elements that is less dense as a solid. That is why ice does not sink, but floats on water. If ice was heavier than water, we probably would not be here.

Bøyum’s works are like water – paradoxical, uncatchable, relentless and evermoving. These works are realised in their changeability and mobility. If you had stopped the cycle in «Vatn-verk» or the other animated works this would have been intrinsically different. This exhibition cannot be understood from one angle or in one moment – it is characterised by its constant flux.

In nature’s hydrological cycle water evaporates and is lifted into the atmosphere, before it falls down on us as rain or snow. Around the poles it is stored up as permafrost, formed thousands of years ago. We humans are pretty important in our own perspective, but water might not agree – if only it could think. In Bøyum’s exhibit nature takes centre stage. Mankind is reduced to the periphery, which gives us an outside perspective of ourselves. Water does not seem to care whether it passes through a human, an Antarctic penguin, an Amazon rubber tree or a shelf of rock in Lofoten. As regards the water, we are just a stopover.

Gravity is one of the main driving forces in the hydrological cycle. It is one of the four fundamental forces in nature, the others being electromagnetism, and strong and weak nuclear force. Gravity is relentless, yet weak. Whenever I am lifting a finger to type this text I am defying gravity. Bøyum defies it several times, including a levitating, three-dimensional sculpture made up of two-dimensional surfaces. Bøyum has created colourful surfaces out of jute and glue. She has worked meticulously to avoid producing any pattern or regularity that could be mass produced. The surfaces resemble images of cells, one of the elemental building blocks of our bodies. Together they form an intangible form that revolves slowly around itself, suspended from the ceiling – like a friendly, amoebic disco ball.

Sculptures and surfaces alike rely on Bøyum’s hand in order to be realised. This brings the individual into the exhibition, in an existential confrontation with nature. The lone individual puts the enormous and inconceivable nature into perspective. Humanity is very much present, even though we are playing second fiddle.

Eventually everything will cease to exist. The last guests will leave Babel and Bøyum will start disassembling the exhibit. Then we all grow old and die. Our bodies turn to dust and are washed away by the water, the water that never even noticed we were here.

But please disregard this text, it all sounds so serious. This exhibition is actually very funny. There is nothing impenetrable, theoretical or boring about it. It is entertaining, thought-provoking and alot more fun than this text. When I look at Bøyum’s works I cannot help smiling. They are playful, spontaneous and interactive – you are allowed to drop a few drops into «Vatn-verk». Put this text away, go inside and play. Listen to the bubbling of the water, it has been around for a while. 

This text is supported by Fritt ord

Photo: Susann Jamtøy/BABEL visningsrom for kunst