Meet Våge

Opening: Ormen Våge in Re. 27 sept 20:15 Revetal

Meet Våge

A dragon that ascends where art, light-design, craftsmanship and attention to detail, gather.

Våge is designer and artist Stig Skjelviks latest instalment and resides in Revetal, Norway. It guards a large multipurpose facility for children, that facilitates all sports and cultural expressions.


Våge means “to dare”

The Dragon, however, was not chosen purely as protection for the children. In old Norse literature dragons are portrayed as much as obstacles to fight and overcome, as well as symbols of strength.

It is this duality that Stig Skjelvik found intriguing and it is the same duality that makes it a valid symbol for any child about to dare a few steps out of the comfort zone. Whether the challenge at hand is overcoming personal obstacles or to prove, or expose, something to the outside world, the dragon is there to remind them that they can succeed. The name of the dragon, Våge, is the Norwegian verb that means to dare.

Medieval inspiration

The shape of Våge is as modern as a dragon can possibly get – but the texture of the beast is deeply rooted in Norwegian tradition; inspired by the stave chuches. The bulk of the stave churches of Norway was built between 1100 and 1350. The few that still remain leave spectators in awe of the mythological ornaments, and their artful shapes, yet Stig Skjelvik found the roofs of the stave churches to be the most magnificent work of art. The entire body of Våge is therefore built in the exact same manner as the roof of a stave church.

The roof shingles of the stave churches are all shaped as, and overlap each other like, reptilian scales. To endure they were made of ore-pine. Ore-pine grows at high altitudes and has to reach an age between 150 and 300 years before it forms broad enough planks to make the scales. Stig Skjelvik found a museum enterprise, Husanotra, that has preserved the craft of making these shingles. After the wood was found and cut, each shingle was treated with a mordant made out of tar and flaxseed oil – just like Norwegians have done for centuries. And this is where Stig Skjelvik left tradition in the rear view.

Contemporary magic

Every dragon holds a bit of magic – and magic is what Stig Skjelvik has created underneath the dragons tactile, handcrafted armour. The underside of each shingle is painted in white silica paint, to better reflect the unique led pixel that is placed underneath a piece of translucent acrylic. At night the play in light reveals new patterns in the body and creates the illusion that the already dynamic figure, is in motion.

Våge is made out of 1800 shingles, all hand painted and mounted by Stig Skjelvik himself over the summer of 2018. The singularity of each shingle makes the dragon appear natural and ever changing, in daylight to. As the years go by the wood will deepen in colour and Våge will mature together with the children it watches over.

Charlotte Hyldahl
KB Arkitekter

Re kommune

Stig Skjelvik | Nullohm

Digital Light animation
Christopher Svendsen

Shingles and Treatment
Husanotra | Nordmøre Museum ‚ Møretyri

Pixel lamps and controls:
GG Lighting