Tracey Emin’s nine-metre-high bronze sculpture The Mother has been shipped from London to Oslo and should be in situ, overlooking Oslo waterfront, by early June after initial delays.
The vast piece, which weighs 18.2 tonnes, travelled from London in five parts on four large lorries and was transported to Norway by ship to Brevik in Porsgrunn on 21 March, according to the Agency for Cultural Affairs, City of Oslo in a statement.
The sculpture will be sited on Inger Munch’s Pier, designed by the British landscape architects J & L Gibbons. The pier is accessible from land via a 40-metre-long bridge from the harbour promenade and the new Munch museum which opened last October.
On 23 March, the sculpture parts were assembled into one piece. “The work to finalise the sculpture will be taking place in the following months. This work will include welding the five parts together and patinating the sculpture. If all goes to plan, the sculpture will be in place on Inger Munch’s Pier this June,” says the Agency for Cultural Affairs in a statement.
The sculpture will be part of the City of Oslo art collection. “When the decision was taken to construct the new Munch museum, funding was set aside through the city of Oslo’s art programme for an art project outside the new museum,” adds the agency.
The large-scale piece, depicting a woman kneeling over an invisible child, was originally meant to arrive by boat via the Oslofjord in March last year. Production took longer than the artist first envisioned because of the sculpture’s size, the agency added. The delay was also linked to the UK being hit particularly hard by the pandemic. The work is the largest sculpture produced by the AB Fine Art Foundry in London.
Emin told The Art Newspaper podcast The Week in Art in 2019: “It’s going to be fantastic, this giant bronze of my mum, this older woman, this old lady, taking root in front of the Munch Museum, protecting Munch’s work, legs open towards the fjord, welcoming travellers. I’m so happy about it, I never thought I’d get it.”