Kim Laybourn: Ingenlunde Hellig, Not so Sacred Grove

11 – 27 November 2022

BABEL visningsrom for kunst welcomes you to the solo exhibition Not so Sacred Grove, Ingenlunde Hellig by Kim Laybourn.

Opening reception Friday, November 11 from 19.00 – 21.00

Opening hours:
Thurs/Fri 16–19
Sat/Sun 12–16

In the grove, among Quercus and Swietenia, scenes are playing-out, starring a wild and wilful nature. Aegopodium podagraria, Fagus sylvatica, Rubus plicatus and Circaea lutetiana, plants that surround us on a day to day basis, that we often take for granted as passive, almost lifeless objects, are dancing and gesturing, and acting differently, from what we are used to, not inanimate and inert, but in free and expressive movement.

The extermination of the sacred groves, which was committed by Christian missionaries from around the 2nd and 3rd centuries until the 13th century, brought with it a new view of nature. The old nature religions were razed to the ground in favour of Christianity and a view of nature which reaches into how nature is being approached, particularly in the West today.

The approach went from a worship of nature as the creator of everything, and something one had to live in respectful harmony with, to a new dogmatic view of a nature that was not creative in itself, but a creation created by the one true God and given as a gift to man, as an enormous resource, for free use and exploitation.

The worship of nature was considered blasphemy, an expression of idolatry. The wilderness of the summit of the green-clad hill had to be tamed, and its hidden idols driven away. The trees were felled and with them the fauna followed. The magic was gone.

Kim Laybourn (b.1988, Denmark) lives and works in Oslo and holds an MFA from Oslo Academy of Fine Arts. Laybourn’s work generally deals with the existential connections of mankind with the natural environment as well as the agency of the non-human. A common thread throughout the work, is the landscape, the surrounding or perceived nature, as a subject, as an active player. The landscape is brought to the foreground, placed in the focus, rather than being a backdrop for others, often human actors.

Recent exhibitions include; The National Museum (Oslo); Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (Turku); BOA (Oslo); Danish Cultural Center (Beijing); K4 (Oslo); Studio 17 (Stavanger); PODIUM (Oslo); Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo); Ta-da (Copenhagen); Galleri CC (Malmö); Struktura-Time, The Wrong Biennale 2019/2020 (Online); Supermarket Art Fair (Stockholm); og Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen).

The exhibition is made possible with support from Norwegian Visual Artists Fund, Arts Council Norway and the Danish Arts Foundation.

Photos: Susann Jamtøy/BABEL visningsrom for kunst