Tindsoldaten

On two consecutive days the tour boat named Tinsoldaten trolled into the dock. Moments later a mother duck and five younglings come swimming in behind. There were many tin soldiers in the window of an antique store near Nørrebro cemetary. Buried under some artifacts in an old washtub outside I find a dusty framed print by the Danish artist Sikker Hansen.


In Nørrebro Parkthere is a statue fountain of a woman riding a stag bareback. She is naked and gripping a longbow in her left hand. The stag is reared back on its hind legs and looking right while she is looking left. Beneath the stag is what looks to be the base of a shrub with three trunks that twist in opposing directions for two feet then are cut. Water bubbles from around the trunks and four arching jets of water spray the statue.


I wander the cemetery following the signs for Hans Christian Anderson's tomb. Towards the center of the park there is a large tree trunk that is easily one and a half meters in diameter. It has recently been cut, but still stands six meters high. At first I thought it would be nice if a chainsaw artist carved a sculpture out of the trunk. This type of art is usually found at farmer's fairs and a sculpture can be formed in hours or within a day. It doesn't seem the proper amount of time to create a piece of art to adorn this ancient burial ground.


I notice on a layout map for the grounds that there is an area for the deceased homeless of Copenhagen. Maybe the trunk could serve as a marker for these unfortunate souls who never found their place in modern civilization. I noticed many of the grounds crew members around the city burn the weeds with a propane torch and are familiar with the tool. The bark on the trunk could be shaved in an area and the name of the fallen vagabond could be burned into the trunk. This would only require a set of metal brands in each alphabetical letter. The body could be cremated sparing the land. This seems both an honor for a tree that has spent more time growing than the natural time any human life should attain, as well as a noble marker for the caste of society that will never threaten this natural order.


Near one of the exits to the cemetery at Nørrebro there is a bronze statue of Moses. It was originally created by the great Michelangelo, but must have been recast by Opstillet in 1925. The biblical figure is seated with the two fabled tablets tucked under his right wing and the right hand engulfed in his flowing beard. 


I take the bicycle trail that weaves through the city. There are a few playgrounds along the trail and I've noticed that Danish children have some nice activity areas. Painted on the side of a school or daycare there is an elephant, a kangaroo, a hawk, and some butterflies. I continue on my route into uncharted territory.


In this territory I spot a mural on the side of a building. It is a cross between a mural and a sculpture. The piece consists of sections of plywood attached to the brick with a coat of dark stain. They are of varying shapes and in relief are the heads of five animals. There is an otter, a goat, a rooster, a monkey, and another type of bird head. The features were carefully made using a rotary tool to take layers of wood away making them lighter and then sealed with polyurethane.


The time required to make this wooden piece is notable. The installation onto the wall probably took an entire day. The intricate design and execution in the workshop surely took some dedication, followed by the staining and sealing. I've never seen a similar piece in my life.