Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Artist Asks with Ragnarök artist De Lane Bredvik

In Norse mythology, the end of the world is a series of natural disasters, caused by the gods. Pikes Peak region artists Wendy Mike and De Lane Bredvik are taking the apocalyptic events and applying them closer to home.

The site-specific installation takes the story of Ragnarök and incorporates the devastating fires Colorado Springs and southern Colorado have experienced in recent years.

The site-specific exhibition, the artists say, is based on the cautionary tale that asks people to consider their responsibilities to the earth and envision a world in which our roots may literally be found in the forest.

PULP asked De Lane Bredvik some questions about the art and life as an artist — but there was one catch: the response had to be in art.

It became obvious that digging into the essence of rune design, and understanding the evolution of the characters as they correspond to the evolution of human cognition, was one of the most inspiring aspect of Ragnarök.

I had an actual experience of looking at a billboard advertising the movie “Life” a while back and I saw, insanely for the first time, how our own English alphabet characters evolved from the Elder Futhark runes. I knew this on some abstract level, but it sank in just then. For this sketch, I just drew out “LIFE” and “DEATH” because they are part of the everyday cycle of Ragnarök of course, but when you look at the characters a certain way, you can clearly see the relation to the runic vertical stroke plus the additional strokes.

Odin was a bit crazy, but he kept trying to save the world even though he knew how it would all end at Ragnarök.  He gave up his eye for that info…  He still believed he could make a difference though and help the world escape that fate.  We need that desperately in modern society.  And Odin valued wisdom and knowledge.  He sacrificed himself to gain the secrets of the runes, among other things.  The Old Norse names of Odin’s ravins are translated as “Thought” and “Memory.”  They fly throughout the world and bring back information to help Odin plan.

Many things, but working on this project reminded me that nature and mythology/spirituality are primary sources. I think the Yggdrasil sketch captures some of that.

Check back in for an Artist Asks with Wendy Mike. Ragnarök runs until January 7, 2017.

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