The Best Thing Today — Park With Art, Odense

August 15, 2016

One of the (many) positive aspects of Danish life is that art and culture are integrated well into public and private lives.  The integration is seamless from the perspective that one simply needs ‘wander about’ to have it.

When suggesting a visit to a park by cousin Elisabeth, we assumed it would be a way for the two boys Erik and Niels to let off a bit of steam.  Yes, it was that, but much more – the best part being a personal escort by family!

Starting the day with a mixed-up exit from Kulhus which involved picking up left articles more or less dropped behind at numerous locations within the general Kulhus vicinity, we arrived at Odense more than an hour late, and were welcomed by two growing boys scampering through home and field because that energy just needs to go somewhere.  Right?

Dad asks the boys if they would like to visit Hollufgård park and was met with whoops of glee.  After necessary organization of kids and adults, we’re off.

Starting here, one immediately sees that this is no ordinary children/family park.  In addition to highly inviting playthings for children of all ages, there is art liberally scattered all over the grounds.  Adults and children both linger over new discoveries.  Artists, of course, have an opportunity.

During this particular time of year there was an art event at the park which captivated all of the adults and children during our visit.

A portion of the large park is groomed and managed, with playgrounds and art displays of different types.  A portion of the park is wild along with trails which meander throughout.  The entire setting is quite lovely.

Sprinkled throughout the wild parts are art objects which integrate into the surrounding nature.  There are plaques which verbally describe the artistic intent, and more often than not one must ‘look for’ the art which leads to much of the surprise value.  ‘Where is the art,’ everyone will ask each other.  Old and young search around the area to find objects which usually are greeted with ‘there it is, right in front of our eyes.’

A goodly fraction of these art displays are also ones on which the children can play.  Through our Denmark travels, Patty and I find the ‘engagement’ factor to be implemented in many of the public display installations: children and adults are enticed to look at something closely, move a pointer, push a button, stab a Viking, etc., for child and adult to really think about what is being conveyed in that scene.

What park visit with young ones is complete without having tears and shoving matches?  We did avoid the shoving matches, but alas there were tears so that our visit could be thought of as ‘complete.’  In fairness, Martin had French encounters with the tear-inducing nettles also … so glad it wasn’t a particular adult who experienced that unhappiness!

Managing the transition from tears to ride home and to dinner table, our gracious hosts Elisabeth and Michael did that thing which Danes do so very well: provided a great dinner and chat at the table of … family.

Thank you Elisabeth, Michael, Erik and Niels!  We enjoyed the park, the art, the food, drink and family.

Additional photos of the Hollufgård park visit can be found here, along with other photos of the Nyborg area.

Photos of our complete Denmark stay are found here.


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