Collectors' Own, Petter & Knut
What they wanted was a bigger apartment with a lot of wall space. Stored away in a dark room, was a growing collection of contemporary art, gasping for air and the attention of it’s owners. In order to create a light and airy, but tight and elegant home for themselves AND their art - they reached out to the office of architect Kristin Jarmund, when they had set their eyes on an apartment which was in a bad state, but with immense potential.
The result is an apartment, a kind of cube even with seamless transitions and sand-coloured walls separating the different zones, leaving room for people, their good and bad habits, and the owners highly particular and ever-evolving dialogue with design and contemporary art. Though neither of them had any first hand experience with custom-made interiors, they did come to the table with precise idea of what constituted their own needs, and those of their objects, paintings, photographs, installations and even, their sound-art.Jarmund then, stepped in to make a polished and sexy framework for everyone’s needs.
Today, the apartment has elongated sightlines letting the eye travel from one external wall to the opposite one. The space has a completely new floorplan and a large, well functioning kitchen with a an abundance of storage. -These are matters for which we have little, if any competence, so when Kristin Jarmund agreed to work with us, we were really proud.. She creates the most amazingingly precise diecast projects.
The aforementioned long lines which now have arisen, connects the rooms without the interference of doors opening or closing, in an elegant and stringent way. One can at any given time stand near an end wall and see all the way through to the other end of the apartment. This creates an immediate openness which wasn’t to be found there before.
So even if the property has lost some of its old-world charm and original decorative details to the invisible seams and lining, with hidden doors and visible openings, the architect has been faithful to the major arteries of the apartment.
The heavy but oh so simple skirting boards are especially worth making a note of in Petter’s eyes, in addition to the surprise lack of architraves. Instead of framing doors and windows, they have ‘lined’the doorframes in order to define the space, rather than having physical frames that compete with the given frames of the artworks so abundant in the space.
The idea of a wall painting by Mattias Faldbakken, photographs by artists such as Vibeke Tanberg, Torbjørn Rødland, Eline Mugaas and Morten Andenæs, sculptures by Marius Engh, paintings by Leonard Rickard, a large gobelin by Jan Groth and even a looped sound byte by Marit Følstad were to be integrated in their new home, and the two of them were struck by the proportions and tall ceilings of this space, revealing itself like an open heart surgery.
BUT, an apartment, or a home, cannot really fit everything, especially not a growing art collection such as theirs. And everything cannot be reduced to one entity. To hang art on the walls, and live with all the works and the meanings they generate, is an active process.
This is not a gallery, but a home. The pictures are not hung once and for all!
Images and objects can be replaced or hung in a new context. Thus, whatever figures on the walls, floors and ceilings at any given time, will be a dynamic and organic edit, curated by the collectors themselves.
Petter and Knut are not concerned that the collection as a whole will appear as a trophy. What is vital, is that what they decide to show at any given time gets its’ due attention and the space it deserves.
As the objects are presented in such a respectful tone, and given pretty much free reign, the generous mindset of the owners is striking, both in relation to the artists, and not least, the various visitors.
Petter Snare, with his background in law and daily work as a director at KODE,- has been collecting art together with Knut since the nineties, and they are avid collectors. Petter was also involved in building one of Norway's most prominent and internationally oriented private galleries, Standard in Oslo together with Eivind Furnesvik. Added to this, he holds positions on various boards, and runs his own publishing house. Teknisk Industri AS produces beautiful art books produced in close dialogue between artist and publisher, with a special focus on photography.
WORDS AND PHOTOS: The Chromarty