This sculpture is a recreation of Nøkken, a creature that lives in lakes and swampy areas, and is always lurking just beneath the water surface with only the top of its head and its two ominous glowing eyes visible. From a distance, it looks just like a harmless ball of floating greenery, but get to close and it will grab you, drag you down to the bottom and eat you.
I chose Nøkken because it is staple of Norwegian folklore and fairytales and traditionally shown as a master of disguise and camouflage. Inspiration is drawn from the works of classical painter Theodor Kittelsen, who deviated from the trend of romanticizing classic fairy tales in the 1800’s by creating a grittier and dirtier take on it, making it look like creatures emerged from or were a part of the environment they lived in. Today he is celebrated as one of Norway’s greatest fantasy artists and is credited with creating the definite look of many Norwegian fairy tale creatures.
The sculpture is a floatie, 1.2 x 1.2 meters wide and 0.5 meters tall. It is made of sticks, moss and grass held together by a spherical frame of metal pins welded together on a base of wooden planks kept afloat by large plastic canisters underneath. An anchor made by tying a rock to a small length of rope, is holding it in place in the water.