Helen Dahl Hansen is a Norwegian born artist living in Denmark. In January/February 2019, she is completing her MA in glass design and contemporary dialogues at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. Her MA exhibition piece exhibiting at the Waterfront museum in Swansea 25.1-2.2 is a proposal for a monument to the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) for the Norwegian municipality of Horten, Norway. If accepted, it will be placed by the harbour in Åsgårdstrand, the seaside village where Munch painted a large part of his work. The theme is Munchs iconic depiction of the moon and its reflection on the sea.
An expressionist and a symbolist, Munch used the moon for effect in his paintings and painted the moonbeam as a standing pillar of light. On one occasion, however, he seemed to make an occluded reflection of the moon - a silhouette of the moonbeam - in the lithograph “Attraction” from 1896. This brought an atmosphere of foreboding to the meeting of the two lovers. In 1896, there was a total lunar eclipse visible in Åsgårdstrand, though it is not known if Munch witnessed it. Another total lunar eclipse in the summer of 2018 in Åsgårdstrand became the inspiration for this work.
It consists of a silhouette, filled with dichroic glass that reflects your gaze differently according to your position relative to the incoming light. Underneath, the red harvest moon is pushing its way through the water to break the horizon and rise. This reflects both Munchs and each of us own quest to “look through the glass darkly” and comprehend the Universe and our place on this unique planet. Each of us gaze up, thoughtfully, at the moon at night. It is also a nod to the 50th anniversary, in 2019, of man’s first landing on the moon with Apollo 11.