Public Art Work

During the summer and fall of 2011, we participated in the public art project “Vores Kunst” ("Our Art"), and won the competition to decorate the ferry M/F Ærøskøbing. The artwork was realized during 2012. “Vores Kunst” is a collaboration between The Danish Art Council and The Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR. The goals of “Vores Kunst” are to engage the Danish people in the art surrounding them and to create three new site-specific artworks developed in close dialogue between the citizens and the artists.

Using 1440 liters
of ship’s paint, we transformed the ferry that connects the little island of Ærø with the larger island of Funen in Denmark. The ferry was painted in three new basic colours: black, white and yellow. Painted portholes, anchor and a ladder were added on one side. The other side features a 35 meter Cutaway- motif.

It was immediately obvious to us that we should take as our point of departure the identity of Ærø, in particular the rich seafaring history of the island and the wide perspectives that sailing has given the islanders over the centuries.
We wanted to decorate the ferry so that there was an awareness of the ships that have been built on Ærø over the years and that have since sailed round the world and brought back exotic goods and stories to the island.
There are many visual references to transatlantic cruise ships. They represent a very special physical and mental space in being a small, enclosed and floating world of their own with room for dreams and visions. We are fascinated by the staged reality of the cruise ship, where the traveler can have every whim catered for, and just drift away in dreams of glamorous destinations. With these references in mind, we have attempted to transform the Ærø ferry from just being a means of transport into becoming a larger and more exotic ship.

You do not have to dream of far horizons if you are a passenger on the ‘new’ ferry, but we hope to give travelers an awareness of what sort of space they occupy on board, and what potential the voyage has for creating a special oasis for them.

Materials: Paint
Measurements: Variable
Site: M/F Ærøskøbing sails the waters between Ærøskøbing and Svendborg, Denmark

Supported by: The Danish Arts Foundation, Ærø Muncipality and a number of businesses and private residents of Ærø.

Photo: Jacob Petersen, Jacob Kjøller and Randi & Katrine