151413121110090807060504030201AltarThe Nidaros Bishop’s robeThe Nidaros Bishop’s robeEllingsøy ChurchEllingsøy kirkeEllingsøy kirkeInnset Church, RennebuInnset kirkeKonnerud Church, DrammenKonnerud Church, DrammenThe Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Nidaros CathedralThe Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Nidaros CathedralJohanneskapellet i NidarosdomenPaintings for a CathedralI begynnelsenI begynnelsen - I domenSyndefalletSyndefallet - I domenNoas arkBabels tårnGullkalven (triptyk)Gullkalven (triptyk) - I domenBebudelsenBebudelsen - I domenFlukten til Egypt og Jesu fødselFlukten til Egypt og Jesu fødsel - I domenAgnus DeiNattverden (triptyk)KorsfestelsenThe ResurrectionOppstandelsen - I domenVest Agder Electric Power Company, KristiansandFaculty of Medicine NTNU, TrondheimSvartlamoenSvartlamoenRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloMemorial for Bjarne NessIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South Trøndelag

In collaboration with Håkon Bleken, Gullvåg created a monumental wall-decoration on the house at 10 Bishop Darre’s Street, Svartlamoen. The work was a gift for the city’s 1000-year jubilee. Yet at this point in time Trondheim City Council was not happy for the gift since it was painted on a house earmarked for demolition.

The painting was made at the request of the inhabitants of Svartlamoen, as part of their year-long battle against the city council’s attempt to demolish the characteristic working-class area. The decoration is painted directly onto an approximately 8 x 7 meter gable-wall. The wall is naturally divided in two, with unmistakeable traces of a neighbour house, already torn down after a fire. Bleken took responsibility for the upper part, embellishing it with two figures of “Justice” in white robes against a blue sky. Meanwhile Gullvåg’s picture depicted the cross-section of a house, furnished and occupied. With this Gullvåg effectively emphasized that Svartlamoen should be allowed to continue its existence. The motif is simple and stylised in order to function well when seen at a distance.

The way these two acclaimed artists used their painterly expressions in order to preserve other cultural values is unique in the Norwegian context. In fact, the municipality repeatedly forbade them to paint on the house but the artists disregarded the prohibition. The matter received great media attention. Even so, the politicians and those with commercial interests did not give up easily. The following year they discussed moving the entire house to an open-air folk-museum and to continue demolishing the rest of the buildings. Therefore the artists painted little oval oblates on each of the 12 threatened houses. Gullvåg’s idea for the oblates derived from Prague, where, instead of numbers, the houses have painted pictures or symbols.

This decoration is a unique phenomenon in contemporary Norway, where art has functioned as an active protest against a political resolution, and it was surely significant for the city council’s decision to reverse the demolition order.