12/01/2012 / by Vibeke Glarbo

I was lucky enough to be a child in Bornholm in the fifties with an extensive amount of physical freedom that was used to explore nature, fish for pollywogs and salamanders, climb trees, and make mud pits. It formed the foundation for a great joy in and wonder of nature’s laws and phenomenon, which have since been an integrated part of my work. An understanding for the fact that insight into nature is a way to gain insight into oneself with both dark and light sides, intensity and caution.
With access to my dad’s tools, I could construct and built – he was open to that, but when I wanted to talk about death, he clammed up completely – I had to work that out for myself. Life, as it stretches between birth and death, the natural cycle, has always been a continuous theme for me. Moreover, just like Jeppe Aakjær’s Little Ole who sat on a knoll and sang, I experienced a great urge to travel during my last school years, and off I went.
In the years 1966–1967, I found work at a factory in Western Ireland, where I calculated and paid out wages in pounds, shillings, and pence in brown bags once a week. In my spare time, I attended my first art school, “Limerick School of Art”. I was certain that I would never be settling down “for good” anywhere – I saw myself as a bird of the world – but that all collided with my desire to become a sculptor. Life gets messy that way.
Back home, I did at stint at Copenhagen University in Danish studies, which was quickly limited to reading Old Norse stories in Old Norse language. It gave me the same dizzying feeling of having a direct connection to people in ancient times as when we read Cato’s speeches in Latin. It was like being there. As we all know, the University studies ended with the rebellion of ‘68. In ’69, I was admitted to the Charlottenborg School of Sculpture, and I spent a few years with hundreds of croquis drawings and modelling after a model. A good training in observation and spatial, mass, and gap work in a search for my own expression. Discussions with good friends. I exhibited for the first time at Charlottenborg in 1973.
In 1980, we, mostly students from the sculpture school, formed the group Transit. A dynamic community with one agenda: creating installation. Meaning that the artwork is created for the available space, and that the audience moves through the work. We exhibited for the next 25 years, every other year at Charlottenborg, and since we had a great deal of wanderlust, during the remaining years, we exhibited many places in Europe in art halls, museums, and factory halls with a quick trip to the rice fields of Java in 2002.
The classical work has been my other track, where the story is encapsulated in the work. Since 1973, I have been exhibiting separately and with others in a large number of exhibits in Denmark and the world. In November of 2012, we were six artists to exhibit in Xiamen in China, and with Transit, we are planning a new exhibit. The preoccupation with life between birth and death continues.

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