Art and Music Weave Together at Håkon Gullvåg Exhibition Opening

Palestinian musician and composer Rim Banna performs with the Norwegian chamber orchestra the Trondheim Solists at a concert for the opening of the Haakon Gullvaag exhibition in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM, 20 December 2011 – The sanctuary of the Church of the Ascension resonated this past Saturday evening as strains of music wove around the newly unveiled art exhibition from Håkon Gullvåg.

The Norwegian chamber ensemble the Trondheim Soloists, the Norwegian musician and composer Henning Sommerro traveled to Jerusalem especially for the exhibition opening and transfixed the audience with their program that ranged from classical to traditional to contemporary and introduced works from around the world. They were joined in their performance by Palestinian artist and composer Rim Banna, whose songs were particularly haunting.

Gullvåg, the renowned Norwegian surrealist painter himself was present for the exhibition opening.

Gullvåg originally created the exhibition, entitled “A Modern Approach to the Divine Image” as a temporary installation for Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, the National Cathedral of the Church of Norway. But it is in this Jerusalem installation that the biblical and religious motifs truly “come home” to their historical context.

Concert-goers were welcomed before the nights’ performance to view the new installation, and stayed long afterward to study the art and to meet and to discuss with the artist.

Gullvåg also offered the use of his Jesu Fødsel to Bishop Younan for use with his 2011 Christmas Message, and has promised a new work of art for the soon to be built Evangelical Lutheran Church at Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan at the Baptismal Site of Jesus.

The Trondheim Soloists Orchestra, Henning Sommerro and Rim Banna also gave performances earlier in the week at the Latin Patriarchate Church in Ramallah and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Opening speeches were given by H. E. the Norwegian Minister of Government Administration, Reform, and Church Affairs Rigmor Aasrud and Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).

Younan, who had the opportunity to view the artwork beforehand during a visit to Trondheim, spoke to how “by the gift of inspired art forms, the meaning of life in God and with each other is interpreted in a variety of ways, which help us as we contemplate the divine mysteries that exceed our rational understanding.”

The curator for the exhibition is Daniel Johansen and the project manager is Venke Aaretun.

The Gullvåg exhibition will continue at the Church of the Ascension throughout the Christmas, Epiphany and Lenten seasons, finishing after Easter. The Church of the Ascension is located next to the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Lutheran World Federation campus on the Mount of Olives.

Visitors are welcome to view the exhibition Mondays through Saturdays from 8:00am through 1:00pm. Entrance to the exhibition is included in the general entrance to the church (5 shekel).

If you are unable to visit the exhibition in person, view the artwork on Håkon Gullvåg’s website here.

Click here or on the photo above to view more photos from the event.