Sculptures in Aabenraa Municipality

Welcome! A sculpture tour in Aabenraa Municipality

Granite, bronze, wood, brick, and steel. Surfaces soft and rough. Shapes angular and curved. Artworks traditional and modern, abstract and naturalistic. Aabenraa Municipality is rich in sculptural art that spans a wide variety of styles, materials, and forms of expression.

On this page we present a selection of the many sculptures found in and around the town of Aabenraa. Our aim is to inspire and support those interested in exploring local art and the relationship between sculptures and their surroundings. We hope to encourage visitors and residents alike, throughout our municipality, to plan sculpture-oriented excursions that will be enriched by the information provided here.

Enjoy your sculpture tour.

Sculpture tour in Aabenraa Municipality

  •  

    Title and year
    Anna's work, 1996

    Materials
    Steel with bench and bronze statue

    Artist
    Lone Høyer Hansen, b. 1950

    Location
    The corner of Nørreport and H.P. Hanssens Gade, Aabenraa

    Description
    Three interesting phenomena from the history of Aabenraa are interwoven in this group sculpture:

    Maritime activities are seen in the latticework’s ships and fish, waves and currents.

    Miss Fanny, said to be the illegitimate daughter of King Christian VIII of Denmark, was raised by the county councillor at the small local castle Brundlund Slot. Legend has it that Miss Fanny was a clairvoyant. Among other things, she foresaw the region’s reunification with Denmark, which officially took place in 1920. She was also known for her exquisite needlework. Her original embroideries are on display at Aabenraa Museum, while elements from their patterns are seen in the sculpture’s latticework.

    Franciska Clausen made her mark from the 1920s onwards as a ground-breaking avant-garde artist. Her line is also recognizable in the sculpture’s latticework and shows her skill at using geometry in her art.

    It is typical for the sculptor Lone Høyer Hansen to compose a work that integrates multiple elements. Here, behind the latticed structure, a female figure stands tall and erect, holding an oversized needle. This feature alludes to the South Jutland women from the Skærbæk area who, in the late 1800s, were well-known for their woven art deco blankets and other textiles.

    Anna’s work was Lone Høyer Hansen’s first commission for a public artwork.

  • Title
    Caged bird

    Material
    Iron

    Artist
    Erik Heide, f. 1934

    Location
    The current town hall Aabenraa Rådhus (formerly the county seat Amtsgården), Skelbækvej 2, Aabenraa

    Description
    Visitors to the town hall, Aabenraa Rådhus, pass the rustic sculpture Caged bird, just at the entrance. Crammed into a rust-coloured iron box sits a bird with clipped wings. It seems to be cringing back. The cage has been ripped open, and the cut-off wings lie atop the box, still resilient and outstretched. One has to wonder: Could they fly without the bird?

    On the other hand, viewing the motif from a distance and considering Caged Bird purely as a sculptural shape, one discovers an intriguing interplay with the building’s architecture: The proportions of the sculpture are repeated in the lines of windows that run across the façade of the large administration building. What is more, the oxidized iron’s shades of rusty red-orange agree with the play of colours in the brown-toned fired bricks.

    Although Erik Heide did not create Caged bird for this particular location, it suits its surroundings well.

  • Title and year
    Clash, 1993

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Claus Ørntoft, b. 1959

    Location
    Søvænget, Rødekro

    Description
    Is this a tussle for fun, or combat in earnest – these two hulking granite beasts going for each other’s throats? Clash exemplifies the sort of violent, pent-up energy and movement that Ørntoft somehow manages to encapsulate in his sculptures. These figures almost seem on the verge of breaking free of the rock itself, their brute strength tamed to breaking point.

    The artist finds inspiration in the Icelandic sagas and Nordic mythology, and in his work one can also identify elements seen in medieval Nordic stone carvings. A typical feature of Ørntoft’s large-scale works is that they are endowed with an inner equilibrium, harmonious and resting in themselves, not in spite of their powerful expression, but rather by virtue of it.

  • Title and year
    Cleaved granite sculpture, 1982

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Poul Isbak, b. 1943

    Location
    Haderslevvej 52, Aabenraa

    Description
    The heaviness of bedrock – the lightness of air. These two elements are contrasted in Poul Isbak’s sculpture, which stands in front of the stately building that once housed the town’s German upper-secondary school, and later og until 2022 its police station.

    Poul Isbak often creates sculptures inspired by objects from our daily lives, such as chairs and sofas. Here, however, we have a more abstract sculpture that mainly piques our curiosity because of the empty space between the two blocks: Are these shapes repelled by one another, or mutually attracted? What overwhelming power has split them apart, or keeps them close together?

    The duality of Cleaved granite sculpture is also embedded in the material, where the artist has given the hard, split granite a finish that makes it look smooth and soft, a surface you want to lovingly stroke with your hand.

  • Title and year
    Coal wall, 2005

    Materials
    Concrete, steel, aluminium, fibre-optic lights

    Artist
    Niels Junggreen Have, b. 1946

    Location
    The former power plant Enstedværket, Flensborgvej, Aabenraa

    Description
    Each day thousands of cars drive along the major approach road from the south, passing the old coal-fired power plant that once supplied the town of Aabenraa with energy. Its mountains of coal were hidden behind a dynamic structure designed by the architect Niels Junggreen Have: Coal wall is 500 metres long and 25 metres high, but just 20 cm thick. The free-standing construction follows a lively, meandering course with sharply angled turns and softly curving folds, as if it were made from a piece of stiff paper rather than concrete.

    Once darkness falls the wall becomes even more lively: 222 small fibre-optic points of light shine with slowly shifting intensity, like stars pulled down into the structure itself. During the day, sunlight is reflected in 33 sail-shaped aluminium triangles that mimic the sailboats out on the fjord.

    In 2005, Coal wall received the Aabenraa Municipality architecture award.

  • Title and year
    Couple, 1975

    Material
    Black-painted steel

    Artist
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

    Location
    At the entrance to Farverhus, Aabenraa

    Description
    Couple is one early example of the local sculptor Hans Lembrecht Madsen’s works for the public space. Two long, black, organic shapes sway elegantly on steel pipes fastened into a large boulder. One shape is slightly taller than the other, yet the openings in them are precisely juxtaposed, as it sometimes happens for couples.

    Couple leaves room for multiple interpretations, given that the sculpture was inspired by a very specific phenomenon of nature: beans in a pod. “If you open a bean pod, you find the beans inside developing across from each other, nestled snugly side by side. That was actually the basic image I had in working with this sculpture,” the artist once explained.

    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, a self-taught sculptor, has since made his mark with several public commissions in the South Jutland region. He is best known for his double work in the traffic circles at motorway exit for Aabenraa and Rødekro: Lifting together and Together we break through, with the official English title Way-Out, Transformation I–II. Other of his sculptures can be viewed near Aabenraa train station, now the art venue BaneGården; on Torvegade street in Padborg; and at the Kongehøjskolen school in Aabenraa.

  • Title and year
    Decoration, 1995

    Materials
    Bronze and granite

    Artist
    Ole Hempel, 1944-2007

    Location
    The intersection Storegadekrydset, Kliplev

    Description
    There is a rich variety of figures to explore in Ole Hempel’s work Decoration, which consists of assembled elements made of various materials and with various surfaces.

    The shifting in levels makes for a dynamic experiential space around the composite sculpture. Some elements are embedded in the flagstone pavement, and there are also figures on pedestals at various heights: a horse, a sundial, the remains of a meal, a church tower, a pair of peaked shoes carelessly set (one lying across the other), and a book visitors can leaf through with texts that throw the sculpture and its creation into perspective.

    The tooled granite pedestals are also an integral part of Decoration. For instance, one tall stela has a rough surface with a smooth relief on it, done in the shape of a cross as a historical reference to Kliplev as a pilgrimage station.

  • Title and year
    Eagle, 1995

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Nicolaus Wehding, 1932-2018

    Location
    In front of the library, Rødekro Bibliotek og Borgerservice, at Vestergade 20, Rødekro

    Description
    The eagle’s sharp talons grip the fish hard, and its wings beat upwards as its beak opens to let out a sharp cry. Is the eagle protecting its prey? Do others nearby want part of its kill?

    In this bronze figure Nicolaus Wehding has cast a powerful, frozen moment from nature’s battleground. Both eagle and fish are life-sized representations. Throughout his career Wehding has worked with animal motifs, often portraying situations that show the animals’ instinctive behaviour. He captures wild creatures “in action” with masterly precision, and one can almost hear the eagle’s piercing call and powerful wingbeats as it lands its catch.

    Wehding’s animal sculptures are richly represented in and around Aabenraa. The town itself is home to several of his works, including Horse getting ready to lie down, Mother hen, and The ring-rider.

  • Title and year
    Fountain, 1969

    Materials
    Mixed materials

    Artist
    J. P. Junggreen Have, 1915-2008

    Placering
    Mutter Stahlbohms Plads, Aabenraa

    Description
    This fountain is a sure favourite among the townspeople of Aabenraa. The pleasant sound of water trickling and splashing from its many cock-eyed spouts gives the square, Mutter Stahlboms Plads, its own distinctive charm. J.P. Junggreen Have’s Fountain consists of a tall copper cylinder fitted with numerous pipes and spigots from which the water issues. These can be seen as a reference partly to the old town well, which had four openings, and partly to Aabenraa’s history as a maritime town, as the fountain also mimics the bilge holes seen in the side of boats and ships.

    The fountain has been part of the public space since the pedestrian shopping street was inaugurated in 1969. On that day, one of its spigots ran with a local soda brand known as Stolly. The sculpture underwent extensive renovation in 2018–2019.

  •  

    Title and year
    Freedom, 2021

    Material
    Natural stones

    Artists
    Carina Zunino, b. 1974 & Lena Ignestam, b. 1965 / Zunino Ignestam Studio

    Location
    CampusParken, Aabenraa

    Description
    Freedom is a sculptural work created by the artists Carina Zunino and Lena Ignestam. It is important to the artists that their sculptures fit in as a natural part of their particular location. That is why in developing Freedom they have involved various parties, including the students’ own campus council, in a number of workshops about life on campus. These have resulted in a narrative about Aabenraa from a student perspective, which is about being free and in motion.

    In their work with Freedom, the artists have been inspired by the students’ narrative and, not least, by the geometrical motifs of the artist Franciska Clausen, . Their sculpture is made from five types of strong, beautiful natural stone, hence blending in as a decorative, organic element among the lawns and trees between the schools and colleges of the Aabenraa campus.

    The natural stones are cut into straight, 6-metre-long lines laid close together. These lines are individual slabs which, together, constitute a sculptural whole. From each line, a circle emerges upwards, like the Sun rising slowly above the horizon and spreading the light of a new day. Always in motion. Always on its way.

    This sculpture was funded by the campus schools and colleges of Aabenraa; the charitable foundations Sydbank Fonden and Fabrikant Mads Clausens Fond; the Danish Arts Foundation; and Aabenraa Municipality.

     

     

     

  • Title and year
    Fountain, 1991-93

    Materials
    Granite

    Artist
    Erik Warming, b. 1942

    Location
    The reunification park, Genforeningsparken, and the Aabenraa Bibliotek library, Aabenraa

    Description
    Erik Warming’s sculpture Fountain consists of two pools connected by a 12-metre-long open water conduit. Until 2020, this fountain stood in the large square, Storetorv, along with the town well. As in the old well, in this newer fountain the water also wells out of four openings. The sculpture has now been moved to Genforeningsparken, the reunification park with its recreative area near the Aabenraa municipal administration building, where its water theme is a handsome match for the new water-jet fountain installed in the open area in front of the historic Folkehjem building. Here, children and other fun-loving visitors can wade and splash, and enjoy the many details in Erik Warming’s sculpture.

    Fountain explores the contrasts between rough and smooth surfaces, as well as the interplay between the colours and textures of the various types of rock. The small pool around the column bears the old signs for the days of the week, and the larger pool bears the 12 signs of the zodiac.

  •  

    Title and year
    Gateway, 2001

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

    Location
    Torvegade 23, Padborg

    Description
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen’s work is richly represented in Aabenraa Municipality. The artist often gives his sculptures clever titles that are based on wordplay and point towards an interpretation.

    At first, viewers of Gateway think the title is meant to be taken at face value. However, the subtle twist lies in the small block of stone embedded among the paving stones in front of the entrance to the Gateway, which the artist refers to as “a tripping stone”. This is his comment on the difficulty one can have getting through the gateway to Denmark, given that – geographically speaking – the Danish–German border and his Gateway are in very close proximity.



  • Titel og år

    Gæs, 1998

    Materiale
    Bronze

    Kunstner
    Thorkild Junggren Have og J. P. Junggren Have

    Placering
    Stubbæk Bygade, Stubbæk

    Beskrivelse
    På plænen over for gadekæret i Stubbæk Bygade knejser to naturalistiske bronzegæs ved siden af en smukt udført bænk i granit og træ. På bænken har en af gæssene efterladt et bronzeæg. Tilsyneladende tager skulpturens gæster sig godt af ægget, der skinner blankt som en bronzemedalje. Det passer lige til en varm hånd.
    Hænderne har også sat spor på ryggene af de to gæs, der har blanke strejf. Fjerspidser og gåsefødder er det eneste, som står uberørt og derfor har fået kobberets grønne patina.

    Lokale og gæster sidder godt på den solide bænk, der er designet af billedhugger Thorkild Junggren Have. Gæs og æg er tegnet af hans far, den legendariske havearkitekt, kunstner og professor J. P. Junggren Have (1915-2008), men støbt og udført i bronze af sønnen. 

  • Gendarmhaven - an urban garden laid out in 2001
    In 2001 a decision was made to create Gendarmhaven – “the Gendarme Garden” – an urban park that is now a popular gathering place in Padborg. It was designed as part of the urban renewal project that transformed Nørregade street into a green avenue that could accommodate pedestrian, wheeled and motorized traffic.

    The playground sculpture Kunsten at gemme sig – at blive set (The art of hiding – being seen)
    In 2004 the artist Jørgen Glud (b. 1942) created a combined sculpture-and-playspace for the Gendarme Garden. It is easy to see that in his art, Jørgen Glud works for and with children. Kunsten at gemme sig – at blive set (The art of hiding – being seen) is a sculpture meant for use; meant to be played in, on, and around. Specifically designed for climbing, crawling, and hiding away, the work invites children in and challenges their imagination.

    This playful, life-affirming aspect stands in stark contrast to the gravity and solemnity that also resides in this space, which is a place of remembrance too. Here, on 9 April 1940, three Danish gendarmes were killed by German advance troops in civilian clothing – an incident commemorated by the memorial found here in the Gendarme Garden.

    When darkness falls, the lighting also affects the nature of the sculpture, changing it from playful to monumental.

    Memorial for the Danish border gendarmes who fell on 9 April 1940
    Prominently placed in the Gendarme Garden stands a memorial raised in honour of the three Danish gendarmes killed by German advance troops that crossed the border on 9 April 1940. All bearing the rank of Overgendarm, “senior gendarme”, their names were J. P. Birk, A. S. Albertsen, and A. A. Hansen.

    The angel motif and the inscription on the memorial stone were designed by sculptor and professor Aksel Einar Utzon-Frank (1888–1955). His artistic idiom is clearly rooted in classicism, in the tradition of Bertel Thorvaldsen (likewise a Dane), but it is far more stylized.

    The verse on the back of the memorial was written by the South Jutland author and folklorist Hansigne Lorenzen (1870–1952), who came from the Ballum area on the west coast. The stone itself was a gift from the gravel processing factory in nearby Smedeby.

    The events of 9 April 1940
    On 9 April 1940, Denmark was occupied by the German armed forces. Early that morning, at 4:15 a.m., uniformed troops marched across the Danish–German border and began moving north.

    However, around 4 a.m. German military intelligence had already dispatched a small group of agents in civilian clothing, sending them north along the railway embankment. Their mission: to secure the railway viaducts in Padborg, which were crucial to the northward progress of the German troops.

    Near the viaduct the agents came upon the three border gendarmes, who were easily recognizable in their blue uniforms. The Danish gendarmes hailed and questioned the Germans, who responded by opening fire and shooting them.

    P. Birk died at the scene. His two peers, A. S. Albertsen and A. A. Hansen, were taken to the hospital in Sønderborg, where they died later that day.

    In this incident, the three senior gendarmes became the first Danes to lose their lives in Germany’s invasion of Denmark and Norway, which was code-named “Operation Weserübung”.

    It is widely believed that the reason the German armed forces regarded the gendarmes as military targets was that the Germans knew about the Danish plan of defence. According to this plan, one of the strategic tasks of the border gendarmerie was to blow up the viaducts in Padborg and the bridge across the Vidåen river near Tønder, seeking to prevent the enemy from advancing.

    What the Germans did not know was that just hours earlier, the gendarmes had been ordered to withdraw – without blowing up the viaducts and without engaging in battle with the German forces, which were far superior.

    Senior gendarmes Albertsen and Hansen are buried at Bov Church cemetery. Birk and Albertsen had both been among the gendarmes transferred, after the border referendum of 1920, from the Kongeåen river position down to the new 1920 border further south. Hansen had not joined the gendarmerie corps until 1922. Because of Birk’s family ties he was buried further north, at Taps Church cemetery near Kolding.

    The Gendarme Garden and the memorial are cared for and maintained by Aabenraa Municipality.

    Further information
    If you would like to learn more about the Danish Border Gendarmerie and its often brutal history as the corps responsible for patrolling and guarding the Danish side of the borderlands, we encourage you to visit the museum here in Padborg – called Museum Oldemorstoft, and located at Bovvej 2, 6330 Padborg. Find details at www.oldemorstoft.dk.

    If you would like to visit Frøslevlejren – the prison camp where during the German occupation border gendarmes and others, including Danish police officers and Resistance fighters – were detained from August 1944 onwards, the web site www.froeslevlejren.dk can help you plan your visit. The address of the camp is Lejrvejen 105, 6330 Padborg.

  • Title and year
    Growth, 1971

    Material
    Iron

    Artist
    Børge Jørgensen, 1928-1998

    Location
    In the grounds of Brundlund Slot, off Dronning Margrethesvej, Aabenraa

    Description
    The sculpture Growth powerfully shoots upwards from a slight foundation, as though it just exploded from the soil and is balancing its great curled-in bud on the slender stalk to avoid falling over. Organic and geometrical features intermingle, as the plant’s constrained petals seem ready to burst open and unfurl.

    Børge Jørgensen, originally a painter, moved into sculpture in the 1950s, and in the 1960s he shifted from a figurative to an abstract artistic language. One has the feeling that an abstract sculpture like Growth evolved from his stylization of recognizable elements.

  • Title and year
    Horse getting ready to lie down, 1966-1969

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Nicolaus Wehding, 1932-2018

    Location
    Aabenraa Stadion, Vestvejen, Aabenraa

    Description
    Horse getting ready to lie down is a detailed representation of a full-grown horse preparing to lie down on the ground. The animal kneels on one knee, shifting its body weight towards the right as its muzzle rests against the ground, while its rump and hind legs are still at full height. This pose presents a line that runs from top to bottom, which the artist has emphasised by placing the sculpture so that the horse’s hindquarters rise up towards the tall trees in the background while its head points down towards the open area in front of it.

    Nicolaus Wehding, who was born and raised in Aabenraa, had a very unusual profile compared to his peers at the royal art academy in Copenhagen, which he attended from 1952 to 1959. He stuck to the figurative sculptural tradition, swimming head-on against the strong currents of abstract art flowing through the art scene . Despite this, he enjoyed considerable recognition for his artistic talent and skill.

    In 1965 he was one of several artists who, as the first batch under a new support programme, received the three-year artist’s stipend from the Danish Arts Foundation. This funding gave him peace and quiet to work, resulting, among other things, in his developing the bronze equine sculpture at Aabenraa Stadion. After its completion, Wehding moved back to Aabenraa, where he continued to work with his figurative art.

     

     

     

     

  • Title and year
    House in landscape, 2010

    Materials
    Red and black granite

    Artist
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

    Location
    The school Kongehøjskolen, Tøndervej, Aabenraa. 

    Description
    Between the playground and the administration building at the primary school Kongehøjskolen in Aabenraa stands an iron plateau that is half a metre high. This sculpture was a gift to the school formerly known as Brundlundskolen, which has now merged with another school (Rugkobbelskolen) under the joint name Kongehøjskolen.

    The iron plateau supports a mountain landscape of black granite upon which balances, near its edge, a diminutive unfinished house made of red granite.
    This house has double doors the size of a thimble. The building’s small scale invites the viewer on a trek into the sculpture. Seen through the eyes of a Lilliputian wanderer, the landscape around the house is overwhelming. The mountain looms large, and with its pattern of slippery, sharp-edged triangles the mountainside seems impossible to climb.

    According to the artist the miniature house is a symbol of the school, where people grow and take shape: “The house is lowest and seems unfinished at the one end, while its other end is taller and more fully shaped. This is meant as a symbol of the pupils at the school. They begin at the lower end and come out at the other end, after developing and taking shape,” Hans Lembrecht Madsen explained at the sculpture’s unveiling.

  • Title and yearKneeling boy, 1942

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Astrid Noack, 1888-1954

    Location
    In the grounds of Brundlund Slot, off Dronning Margrethesvej, Aabenraa

    Description
    Astrid Noack’s boy sculpture is determined and dignified. There are no props, trappings, or dramatic movements we can use to interpret or explain this figure. What we see is a simple, unadorned piece that calls to mind the Egyptian or archaic Greek style, characterized by frontality, stringency, and stylization.

    In many ways Astrid Noack paved the way for other female artists. Notably, she was one of the first Danish women to earn a formal qualification, a “journeyman’s certificate”, in carving. She did so in 1910 after working for a number of years as a porcelain painter in Copenhagen. In 1920, Noack travelled to Paris on a stay funded by a tradesman’s stipend. She became part of the inner circle at the Académie Scandinave and brought the modernist trends back with her when she returned to Denmark.

    She became the first female member of the well-known Copenhagen artist’s cooperative Grønningen.

  • Title and year
    Landscape sculpture – Future Past

    Material
    Fired clay

    Artist
    Martin Qvist, 1935-2008

    Location
    Sønderborgvej, by the village of Søgård, between Aabenraa and Kruså

    Description
    The work Landscape culture – Future Past is encoded with the artist’s own interest in history and his childhood in the nearby brickworks town of Egernsund. The sculpture, which stands near the village of Søgård, south of Aabenraa, was completed shortly before the Danish municipal reform of 2007, which in many places combined formerly independent administrative districts.

    Visitors who walk through the village’s brickwork gateposts and stroll to the structure will see the erstwhile town arms of Felsted Municipality, passing on to artistic elements rooted in local history. These tie events and place together with a series of illustrations created using the “local gold” found underground:

    In this work, the artist has used not only newly fired material, but also beautifully glazed, discarded tile materials from the Egernsund brickworks, found in the waters of the nearby fjord. The stroll around the sculpture ends at the town arms of Aabenraa Municipality, linking the past to the future.

    Some find the sculpture’s domed shape reminiscent of the Mongolian yurt or ger, a type of that served as a home and safe base for the nomadic peoples of that region.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Title and year
    Marie, 1994

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Trine Maria Høy, b. 1965

    Location
    The children’s day-care centre Børnehaven Mariehønen, Lergård 2, Aabenraa

    Description
    Each morning, the children who attend the day-care centre Mariehønen (“the ladybird”) are greeted by the low, rounded stone sculpture that stands on a small mound outside the entrance. They love to climb around on it and play.

    This sculpture can take lots of wear and tear, for its creator, Trine Maria Høy, chose to use natural rock. Actually, she found a sizeable boulder and changed very little in its naturally rounded shape, except to chisel out a round head with the hair gathered back in a bun. Shallow indentations indicate the figure’s flexed arms, buttocks, and pendulous breasts, which all follow its curved shape. The facial features are indicated subtly and simply, like a historical echo that harks back to the archaic figures of antiquity.

    The hinted, indistinct features allow many different interpretations. Among the children and adults who come to Mariehønen daily, some think of the sculpture as the centre’s own granny; or as a pregnant woman; or just as delightful, round-bodied Marie, whose bosom is big enough to sit on.

    Marie was the first work Trine Maria Høy made for a public space, and it was purchased by the Aabenraa arts council specifically for the Mariehønen day-care centre.

  • Title and year
    Mother hen, 2005

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Nicolaus Wehding, 1932-2018

    Location
    Nicolaus Wehdings Plads, Skrænten, Aabenraa

    Description
    For over 50 years the South Jutland sculptor Nicolaus Wehding created works for the squares and public spaces of his native region. In 2005 the town of Aabenraa decided to pay tribute by naming a square in his honour: Nicolaus Wehdings Plads.

    This space is home to his bronze figure Mother hen, a small monument standing on a granite base. The mother hen protectively spreads her wings, allowing her three half-grown chicks to hide their beaks in her breast feathers.

    Unlike the artist’s previous works, this sculpture is much more roughly shaped and has uneven surfaces with marks from hands and tools. In 2002 the art historian Katrine Kampe described the development in his later works for an exhibition of his entire oeuvre held at the museum-castle Brundlund Slot, concluding: “His work has developed in an increasingly expressive direction, where ugliness is parallel to beauty.” Viewers can, themselves, study this development in the many sculptures by Wehding found throughout the South Jutland region.

  • Title and year
    Reading woman, 1973

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Ulf Rasmussen, 1913-1997

    Location
    Aabenraa Bibliotek, Haderslevvej, Aabenraa

    Description
    The motif of a woman reading was an obvious choice for a sculpture set outside South Jutland’s regional library (Det Sønderjyske Landsbibliotek), established in 1973 and known today as Aabenraa Library (Aabenraa Bibliotek). Ulf Rasmussen liked the monumental style, and he would work and rework the same simple motifs again and again, often portraying birds, animals, plants, or people.

    The sculpture’s location was reconsidered in connection with the Reunification centennial in 2020, when Aabenraa Municipality converted the area in front of the historic Folkehjem building and Aabenraa Library into the Reunification Park (Genforeningsparken). Today, Reading woman sits here as a reminder that the area is more than an important memorial space for the whole South Jutland region; it is also an active, vibrant recreational space.

  • Title and year
    Reclining woman looking towards the light, 1955

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Gottfred Eickhoff, 1902-1982

    Location
    In front of the cultural venue Sønderjyllandshallen, Aabenraa

    Description
    The title of this work and the inscription on its base – 4. maj (“the fourth of May”) – both refer to the sculpture’s origins: It was designed to commemorate Denmark’s liberation from German occupation during World War II. The reclining woman gazes serenely into the distance, as though envisioning better days to come, and in a conciliatory gesture she turns her face towards Germany. In all her monumentality she is, first and foremost, gracious and calm: Now it is time to look ahead.

    Reclining woman looking towards the light eminently exemplifies Gottfred Eickhoff’s simple, unornamented, harmonious style. In an age when abstract art was all the rage, Eickhoff held on to figurative art, and his works typically represent natural, down-to-earth people. This work is one of several monumental sculptures Eickhoff made for memorials in Denmark.

     

  • Title and year
    Ship and plough, 2002

    Materials
    Granite and water

    Artist
    Erik Brandt, b. 1937

    Location
    Løjt Storegade, across from the village church in the village Løjt Kirkeby, northeast of Aabenraa

    Description
    Future meets present in this fountain by Erik Brandt. Its title, Ship and plough, is an obvious historical nod to sailing, ship-building, and farming – traditionally the main occupations in the coastal Løjt Land area. The artistic idiom is modern, however, with the granite elements forming a starkly simple composition.

    The largest element in this sculpture is the plough, which stands 2 metres tall, jutting up rather like an abstract ploughshare on a snow plough with rounded edges. The softness stands in contrast to an angular stairway on this element’s thin side, which points towards a circular well several metres away. On the edge of the well sails the sculpture’s ship, a tapered, black, elliptical shape. From the upper part of the ship, water trickles down over its even and uneven surfaces, bringing life to the stringent, modern forms.

    Interestingly, the artist has brought the ages together again by engraving a small sun token, like a rock-carving, at the bottom of the large ploughshare stone.

  • Title and year
    Signs of life, 1981

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Ole Christensen, 1932-2000

    Location
    The old town hall in Bov, just north of Padborg

    Description
    Working the hard granite, Ole Christensen has created two soft, curved elements that follow and fuse with one another, and which – depending on the eyes of the beholder – form a bird, a phallos, or a germinating seed. This sculpture and its title refer to nature as a creating, life-giving force.

    Christensen’s work typically begins with an organic object, and although he has not worked in a conventionally figurative way, this sculpture can be seen as an abstraction of something living. The artist has called the shape forth out of the stone by virtue of his intimate knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of his material. In the case of this sculpture, not only the shape but the very surface of the rock itself seems almost irresistibly soft and smooth – as though created this way by nature itself.

    The sculpture was acquired by the Danish Arts Foundation for installation near the town hall of what was, at that time, the Municipality of Bov.

  • Title and year
    Splitting, 1994

    Material
    Halmstad granite from Sweden

    Artist
    Søren West, b. 1963

    Location
    The residential area Kirsebærhaven, Aabenraa

    Description
    Søren West’s sculpture brings a sense of drama to this otherwise peaceful spot, right by the foremost buildings of the residential area Kirsebærhaven. At first glance the title Splitting seems to describe, quite literally, what is going on in this work, which consists of a narrow, 1.5-metre-tall splitting wedge in reddish granite that is stuck into a crevice in the large grey stone that makes up its base.

    The sculpture’s balancing point seems set to tip, because the splitting wedge is so large and stands so tall above the base – an effect that adds even more tension and power to the composition. However, a more detailed investigation of the work reveals that the scene has nothing whatsoever to do with splitting: Markings on the stones show that blasting took place. In this way the artist challenges the classic sculpture tradition by revealing how he has staged and fashioned his work. The process itself is embedded in the base, which is marked by elongated drill holes made when using dynamite. In showing us this, the artist insists on the work being a combination of sculpture and process.

  • Title and year
    Standing woman (1939), unveiled 1986 

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Erling Frederiksen, 1910-1994

    Location
    On the corner of Østergade og Hærvejen, Rødekro.

    Description
    Erling Frederiksen, whose oeuvre includes paintings, graphic art, and sculptures, was a realist. His work was unpretentious, and it was closely, almost intimately linked to the sort of motifs he preferred to portray: ordinary people getting on with their daily lives and work – for better and for worse.

    He had already finished Standing woman as early as 1939, but it was not cast as a sculpture until 1985, when the Danish Arts Foundation granted the financing and gifted the sculpture to what was then the Municipality of Rødekro. True to form, his motif in this sculpture is a robust, universal figure of an ordinary woman, which, in Frederiksen’s rendition, has a monumental quality that unites composure with an attentive readiness.

  • Title and year
    Sun clock, 1998

    Materials
    Steel

    Artist
    Piet Hein, 1905-1996

    Location
    The traffic island on the corner of Jernbanegade and Løgumklostervej, Aabenraa

    Description
    What time is it? This is a classic question for travellers. If Sun clock, by the beloved Danish artist, inventor, and humourist Piet Hein, had been here while trains still came all the way to Aabenraa, one could simply have consulted this sculptural timepiece, located on the traffic island just east of the railway station, to find out.

    The sculpture was purchased by Jens Terp Nielsen – then the managing director of the large local manufacturing company Abena – who also owned the old Aabenraa railway station, where, for a time, he ran an exhibition venue called BaneGården Kunst og Kultur. In 1998 the venue held an exhibition of Piet Hein’s work, and in this context Sun clock was gifted to Aabenraa Municipality.

    In addition to drawing, mathematics, design, and philosophy, Piet Hein devised and cultivated a crisp, witty lyrical format he called gruk in Danish (some of which were published in his own English translations as Grooks). He made a Danish–English grook pair to accompany this sculpture design, and both appear on the columnar base of the clock, written on a small plaque that is shaped like a ‘superellipse’ – a signature form Hein also designed:

    Her ses tiden uformummet
    hentet ind fra himmelrummet,
    Helios i eget billed
    i en Helix forestillet. 

    Here is time in heavenly grace,
    Hither brought from outer space,
    Helios uncomplicated
    in a helix concentrated.

     

  • Title and year
    The art of hiding – being seen, 2004

    Material
    Granite

    Artist
    Jørgen Glud, b. 1942

    Location
    Viaduct in Bov, just north of Padborg

    Description
    It is easy to see that in his art, Jørgen Glud works for and with children. The art of hiding – being seen is a sculpture meant for use; meant to be played in, on, and around. Specifically designed for climbing, crawling, and hiding away, the work invites children in and challenges their imagination.

    This playful, life-affirming aspect stands in stark contrast to the gravity and solemnity that also resides in this space, which is also a place of remembrance. Here, just before German forces invaded Denmark on 9 April 1940, three Danish gendarmes were killed by advance troops in civilian clothing – an incident commemorated by in the Gendarme Garden (Gendarmhaven). When darkness falls, the lighting also affects the nature of the sculpture, changing it from playful to monumental.

    This work was integrated in the urban renewal plan carried out in 2001, which redesigned the existing Gendarme Garden and its memorial into an urban park for the town’s residents.

     

  • Title and year 
    The wall, 2009

    Materials
    Granite and bronze

    Artist
    Keld Moseholm, b. 1936

    Location
    Store Torv, Aabenraa

    Description
    Runners participating in the Aabenraa Mountain Marathon have a sculpture they can truly relate to. The area around the start and finish line for this annual race is home to The wall, by Keld Moseholm. With warm humour, the sculpture illustrates a phenomenon many runners know from personal experience: “hitting the wall”.

    Two of Keld Moseholm’s distinctive little rotund men, done in bronze, struggle to break through a slab of granite that weighs 5 tonnes. One stout fellow is seen from the back, straining to push his way into the rock, while the other runs out on the other side, upright and with his arms held up high in jubilation. Moseholm’s people do not have buff, well-trained bodies that conform to modern ideals of the perfect athlete. These little, well-fed munchkins, a recurring feature in Moseholm’s work since the 1980s, are always busy, hustling and bustling, hard at work pushing stones over an edge, or pulling each other up a sheer, vertical surface or – as here – defying every law of nature and running through a wall.

    The association that organizes Aabenraa Mountain Marathon donated this sculpture to Aabenraa Municipality as a gift from the townspeople in 2009, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of this running event.

  • Title and year
    The cuckoo chick, installed 1986 

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Gunnar Westman, 1915-1985

    Location
    The school Fladhøjskolen, Skovbrynet 2, Rødekro

    Description
    When the school children at Fladhøjskolen play around Gunnar Westman’s bronze sculpture The cuckoo chick, they probably give no thought to the intriguing natural phenomenon it portrays. We all know the story of the cuckoo bird, which secretly lays its egg in the nest of a pair of much smaller host birds. As soon as the cuckoo’s egg hatches, the baby intruder disposes of all the other eggs by pushing them over the edge.

    This brutal reality is easily forgotten as one looks at Westman’s sculpture, which portrays a diligent, nurturing adult host bird pushing food into the wide-open beak of a cuckoo chick twice its size. But there is no danger here. The birds balance calmly on an axis that passes up through a bronze pedestal and ends precisely where the host bird perches on the chick’s back. The bronze surface is smooth and rounded, pleasant to the touch.

    This figure by Gunnar Westman is so popular that he has a good handful of cuckoo chicks spread across Denmark.

  • Title and year
    The dance around the golden calf

    Material
    Granite and iron

    Artist
    Monica Poulsen, b. 1944

    Location
    Engvej, Rødekro

    Description
    The area around the town of Rødekro is intersected by Oksevejen, the old, time-honoured “ox road”. Since this route had the fewest waterways and fords to cross, it was greatly preferred by the ox traders, and this obviously attracted other traders as well. Natural elements of the route – forests, brooks, pathways, and stepping stones – are portrayed on the sides of the sculpture’s lower section.

    The title is clearly a biblical reference to the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites worship an image of the Canaanite deity Baal while Moses is away on Mount Sinai speaking to Yahweh, God of the Israelites. They had, in fact, agreed not to worship other gods than Yahweh, but with Moses gone their promise is forgotten. The title plays on the history of the ox trade in Jutland, and on the fact that the ox road was a source of both wealth and greed. The inherent moral danger is symbolized in the way the huge, solid granite ox balances upon a foundation of iron, which in turn rests upon a structure with small, frail-looking wheels.

  • Title and year
    The fence, 1992

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Bent Sørensen, 1923-2008

    Location
    Søndertorv, Aabenraa

    Description
    The fence, a gift from the Ny Carlsberg Foundation, is located in the lovely park at the small castle Brundlund Slot. There is ample room here to walk around the sculpture and examine its many shapes and spaces. This is no traditional sculpture with a front and back, but rather a collection of geometrical elements leaning against each other and creating a dynamic form. This makes the sculpture’s expression change as viewers move around it, changing their perspective, and in this way the artist shows how strongly he was inspired by Cubism.

    One of the points of Cubism is to challenge conventional perspective theory, and to show an object from multiple sides at once – making the artistic project more focused on exploring the motif rather than creating a naturalistic rendition.

  • Title and year
    Two figures on a beach, 1995

    Material
    Weathering steel

    Artist
    Hans August Andersen, 1926-2003

    Location
    Flensborgvej, Aabenraa

    Description
    The sculpture Two figures on a beach, which greets those approaching Aabenraa from the south, has the size and clout it takes to match its neighbour, the former county headquarters on the opposite side of the Flensborgvej highway. 

    This sculpture was purchased by what was then the county authority of South Jutland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Danish municipal reform in 1971. Aabenraa Municipality contributed to the project by making the sculpture site available. After the subsequent Danish municipal reform of 2007, Aabenraa Municipality moved its town hall offices and municipal administration into the large, mocha-coloured, H-shaped complex.

  • Title and year
    The king's gate, 1996

    Materials
    Granite and cast iron

    Artist
    Erik Heide, b. 1934

    Location
    The marketplace between H. P. Hanssens Gade and Madevej, Aabenraa

    Description
    The local discipline known as “ring-riding” is a theme often seen in sculptures across South Jutland. At the marketplace in Aabenraa stands Erik Heide’s interpretation of ring-riding, created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Aabenraa county ring-riders’ association (Amtsringriderforeningen) in 1996: a ring-rider’s lance has been driven through two great granite stelae and, on its way through, has captured the coveted ring – making the successful rider the king or queen of the tournament.

    This sculpture sets the stage for the time-honoured ring-rider’s procession, an equestrian parade held every year on the first weekend of July. Here, more than 400 riders and their mounts come together at The king’s gate. The president of the Amtsringriderforening rides through the sculpture’s gate, leading the procession of riders and musicians through the town to the large ring-rider square, Ringriderpladsen, near Hjelm Allé, which serves as the tournament ground. When the marketplace was rebuilt in 2020 as part of Aabenraa’s extensive urban renewal project, a crucial task for the landscape architects was to integrate The king’s gate into the design of the new urban space. Note, for instance, how the shape of the ring mirrors the curved lines of the new mounds in the square, creating a delicate, playful contrast to the monumental granite stelae

  • Title and year
    The lyre of space, 1999

    Material
    Steel

    Artist
    Piet Hein, 1905-1996

    Location
    Exit 76 on motorway E45

    Description
    A dream long held by the Danish designer and humourist Piet Hein came true, albeit posthumously, after more than 100 sponsors enabled the enlargement, by a factor of 20, of a mobile he called The lyre of space – bringing it to life anew in sculptural form. It is an impressive sight for viewers driving towards Hein’s poetic version of the classical stringed lyre, then proceeding around the sculpture in the traffic circle in which it stands.

    The lyre sculpture is at once delicate and powerful, calm and dynamic and geometrical. The centrifugal force in its rounded shape speaks to the movement of the vehicles driving around it. But when for a moment the traffic dies down, an attentive observer may be fortunate enough to hear the wind strumming the strings of the great lyre.

  • Title and year
    The only one, 1988

    Material
    Painted weathering steel

    Artist
    Harvey Martin, b. 1942

    Location
    The street corner of Stationsvej and Aabenraavej junction, Tinglev

    Description
    The title of this work may make some viewers see parts of a broken heart, which Cupid’s arrow is trying to keep together: The angle at the bottom has landed on the top, and the heart’s two semicircles are being pulled apart. However, the artist’s own intention is to present an abstraction of Christ nailed to the cross, the spike cutting through the flesh of his palm. The only one uses a monumental, figuratively simplified artistic language that is well suited to the robustness of one of Martin’s favourite materials: weathering steel.

  • Title and year
    The ring-rider, 1991

    Material
    Bronze

    Artist
    Nikolaus Wehding, 1932-2018

    Location
    In the grounds of Brundlund Slot, off Dronning Margrethesvej, Aabenraa.

    Description
    Visitors to South Jutland find ring-riding quite an exotic local spectacle. Meanwhile, long-time residents consider the region’s numerous ring-rider events and tournaments to be a natural part of life, just like the local cabbage sausages and crisp knepkage biscuits. The great cultural importance of ring-riding is evidenced by the many sculptural interpretations of such activities seen throughout the South Jutland region.

    Wehding’s sculpture shows a ring-rider urging his horse into action. The dynamism is clear, and anyone familiar with this popular South Jutland sport is aware that in just a moment the rider must try to run his lance through a small ring suspended high above. The rider who captures the most rings is celebrated as the king or queen of the tournament.

    Wehding used a figurative, classical artistic idiom in his works, most often with humans and animals as his theme. He did many commissions for public artworks, several of which are found in his home town of Aabenraa.

  • Title and year
    The rock beast, 1996

    Materials
    Moseløkke granite from the island of Bornholm

    Artist
    Claus Ørntoft, b. 1959

    Location
    The old town hall in Rådhusgade i Aabenraa

    Description
    There is a concentrated power in Claus Ørntoft’s sculpture The rock beast, which dwells on the steps of the old town hall in the heart of Aabenraa. Children who jump on its back for a ride, newlyweds passing by, shoppers laughing and talking – The rock beast takes the hustle and bustle of urban life with unshakable calm.

    This beast, which is thousands of years old, has been inspired by the Icelandic sagas and Nordic mythology. The artist has exposed the beast in the ancient granite, almost as if he had excavated some prehistoric creature, giving it new life. The same could be said of the steps on which it crouches, which are fashioned from the same granite as The rock beast itself. Ørntoft’s choice of material and form bear witness to another important source of inspiration: the Romanesque figures of chiselled rock found in Danish medieval churches.

  • Title and year
    The son, 1939-40

    Materials
    Granite from the island of Bornholm

    Artists
    Axel Poulsen, 1887-1972

    Location
    Genforeningsparken, Haderslevvej 7, Aabenraa.

    Description
    Poetry and pathos are recurring features in the work of the sculptor Axel Poulsen, making him the obvious choice for the commissioning of several memorials. These include the Reunification Monument at Fælledparken commons in Copenhagen, and the monuments for fallen soldiers at Mindeparken memorial park in rhus and Mindelunden memorial grove in Ryvangen, north of Copenhagen.

    The son is also a memorial, in this case raised in honour of H.P. Hanssen (1867–1942), a prominent “Danish-minded” politician who championed the struggle to reunify South Jutland with Denmark. The main thrust of his work was to ensure that the redrawing of the Danish–German border be based on the opinions of the region’s population, and not on purely political agreements. On the statue’s base, above a relief of Hanssen’s face, an inscription reads (here with our translation):

    Trofast Søn af Danmark
    Modigt han i ærlig kamp
    Moders Sag har værnet

    Faithful son of Denmark
    valiant in honest battle
    he was his Mother’s shield

    In 2020, the monument was moved to the newly established Reunification Park (Genforeningsparken) to commemorate the centennial of the referendum that once again made South Jutland a part of Denmark. The new park brings the balcony of the Folkehjem building into focus, metaphorically as part of the region’s poignant historical narrative, and physically as an architectural highlight: In 1918, from this balcony, H.P. Hanssen announced to the citizens assembled there in tense anticipation that the “Aabenraa Resolution” meant that a regional referendum would be held about redrawing the border – which could (and did) lead to the region’s reunification with Denmark.

  • Title and year 
    The town well, 1996 

    Materials
    Black diabase, red granite, and Moseløkke granite from Bornholm

    Artists
    Jesper Kjærgaard, Erik Dahlgreen og Kirsten Lausten

    Location
    The marketplace between H. P. Hanssens Gade and Madevej, Aabenraa

    Description
    In 1996 the pedestrian shopping street, Gågaden, in Aabenraa was renovated. That same year the town’s Water Supply Authority celebrated its 200th anniversary. The occasion was commemorated with this fountain, collaboratively designed by two architects and an engineer from Aabenraa Municipality.

    The sculpture illustrates how water was originally led from “gallows hill” (Galgebakken) north of the town to seven fountain wells in the town centre: The black slice of granite represents a slice of the hills that is intersected by a water vein. The water wells up to the surface in the round, red pool of the well, then runs along an inclined conduit and flows naturally down to the seven granite bollards, which symbolize the town’s seven original fountain wells. Diabase – a dark, fine-grained, hard type of rock – was formerly known under the commercial name “black granite” and is highly sought-after by artists around the world for its superb quality.

  • Title and year
    The watchman, 1947

    Materials
    Granite

    Artist
    J. P. Junggreen Have, 1915-2008

    Location
    Vægterpladsen, Aabenraa

    Description
    At the site of this sculpture, until 1827, stood three town watchmen’s houses. Originally located at the centre of “the watchman’s square” (Vægterpladsen), the sculpture had to yield to motorized traffic and was incorporated into the sidewalk, with its special rounded curb stone.

    The sculpture’s artistic idiom is simple and monumental. All details, even the watchman’s faithful dog, blend into its large rounded shape. The artist has captured the watchman at the very moment when he stops on his rounds to sing out the verse of the hour. He is calm and composed, holding his round-headed mace in his arms against his stout body. The watchman makes sure all is peaceful and orderly. The town can rely on him.



  • Titel og år

    Tre fugle, 1990

    Materialer
    Emalje på stål

    Kunstner
    Hanne G. Salamon, 1935-2015

    Placering
    Kirsebærhaven, Aabenraa

    Beskrivelse
    Den kulørte fuglemobile er et pejlemærke for de stedkendte i boligforeningen Kirsebærhaven, men nytilkomne skal kigge godt efter, før de finder de tre fugle, der duver i det fri, højt oppe under tagskægget i en passage mellem to husgavle. Man kan gå op ad trappen til en svalegang, hvis man vil studere værket tæt på. Og helt tæt på bliver det tydeligt, at fuglene svømmer af sted. De ser ikke ud til at have travlt, for den midterste fugl har tid til at dreje halsen og blinke med sit ene øje.

    Udover disse enkelte detaljer er fuglene groft stiliserede. Kunstneren har bygget deres kroppe lagvist op af kantede stålplader. Ydersiderne forestiller et fjerdragtsmønster, der er malet og brændt fast med emaljefarver. Farverne holder sig i dueblå, rustorange, sorte og hvide afgrænsede felter, så de får et grafisk præg. Kunstneren, der var uddannet både grafiker og maler, har blandet det grafiske med aftryk med grove penselstrøg, som giver fladerne en stoflig kvalitet.

  •  

    Title and year
    We lift together & Together we break through, 1995
    (Way-Out, Transformation I-II)

    Materials
    Red granite and steel

    Artist
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

    Location
    The two traffic circles at Exit 70b on motorway E45

    Description
    On the road between Aabenraa and Rødekro stands a huge block of granite, elevated on pillars of steel. It rises and falls relative to the horizon, depending on whether the viewer is moving uphill or downhill in the undulating terrain.

    This sculpture, called We lift together, stands on the central mound in the easternmost traffic circle on the road between Rødekro and Aabenraa. Its counterpart, Together we break through, stands just a few hundred metres to the west in the traffic circle at the end of the road nearest Rødekro. They lead us from these towns out into the world, onto the busy E45 motorway, and at the same time they lead the world to us. They also link Aabenraa and Rødekro, two towns that are gradually expanding towards one another and melting together, based on their shared dream of growth and development. The titles of the two sculptures refer specifically to this shared vision.

    The very composition of the two pieces, both done in red granite and glittering steel pipes, is symbolic: The steel pipes are the active elements carrying out the sculptures’ intentions, as together they “lift” and “break through”, while the granite is a material manifestation of the bond between the two towns.

     

     

  • Title and year
    Viaduct-bench-suitcase, 1996

    Materials
    Red and black granite

    Artist
    Hans Lembrecht Madsen, b. 1943

    Location
    Near the old railway station, on Jernbanegade, Aabenraa

    Description
    A bench, a suitcase, and part of a viaduct. Someone is on their way. Who they are and where they are going, we do not know – and therein lies the tension between the elements in this sculpture. Hans Lembrecht Madsen’s group work deals with the memory of an urban space that once existed around the Aabenraa railway, which ran as a branch line of the Vamdrup–Padborg narrow-gauge railway from 1868 to 1971. This branch line carried passengers between Rødekro and Aabenraa. Here, many a traveller sat with their luggage, waiting for a connection from Aabenraa railway station to the world beyond.

    The local branch line is no longer in operation, but the yellow station building – the oldest surviving railway station in South Jutland – is listed as a protected heritage site. The sculpture’s heavy materials help us recall bygone times. You, as a viewer, can immerse yourself in history by sitting down on the bench and imagining yourself in 1910, waiting for the next outbound train. Where would you be going?

  • Title and year
    Wind in the sails, 2006

    Material
    Steel

    Artist
    Hans Günter Hansen, 1922-2013

    Location
    Sønderborgvej, Felsted

    Description
    A local village initiative, led by the residents of Felsted themselves, made it possible to realize a sculpture done after an idea conceived by the local artist Günter Hansen, and realized by the local craftsman Jørn Smej – which simply means “Jørn blacksmith” in the local dialect.

    The composition, consisting of three triangular sheets of iron placed on a base, soon took on the desired rust-red colour. The vertical sheets are parallel and set in a slightly staggered pattern, giving the viewer an impression of three sails racing forward together, heading for new horizons and new adventures.

    Günter Hansen was chiefly known for his paintings, in which he gradually moved from the naturalistic to a more stylized artistic idiom where geometric figures occasionally cropped up among his range of motifs – as they do here in Wind in the sails.

  • Title and year
    8 acrylic sheets, 1996

    Material
    Plastic foil on acryllic sheets

    Artist
    Ulla Alberg, 1934-2021

    Location
    Two viaducts on Nørregade, Padborg

    Description
    Padborg is a small border and transit community. It is a gateway out into the wider world. A place where journeys can begin. Ulla Alberg has interpreted this outward-looking gaze, facing the world, in the four decorative sheets travellers see on the two railway viaducts in Padborg when they leave town. Under the collective title Handel og trafik (Commerce and traffic) she depicts remote locations with iconic motifs such as the Eiffel Tower and the Acropolis, gondolas, onion-shaped turrets, and bridges that span deep gorges.

    Inversely, the four sheets travellers meet when arriving to Padborg bear the collective title Kunst og ultur (Art and culture), and they illustrate local culture elements, such as the distinctive profile of the church, and Padborg’s pyramid-shaped museum.

    The artist’s motifs, which are stylized and rendered in clear colour fields, are almost cartoon-like in their simplicity.