Guardian of Ålgård

A fifty-meter wide mural presenting a fantastical hero in rural Norway

By Nuart

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

RH74's fifty-meter wide mural covers the outside wall of Ålgård Handball Club's purpose-built venue.

It is one of the largest in the region, together with Fintan Magee's silo works in Stavanger and Ella & Pitr's record-breaking mural in nearby Klepp.

Ålgårdhallen is home to the local women's handball team and is located thirty minutes outside the city of Stavanger. 

Ålgård is a small town that is part of Gjesdal municipality. The mural project is an example of Nuart's expansion into Rogaland county.

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

The mural was initially planned to only cover a central twenty by ten-meter portion of the wall, but concerns arose that this picture frame solution would have resulted in a floating appearance. Because artist and curator were involved with the project managers from early on, it was possible to expand the mural project into a full facade work resulting in a more impactful piece.

It is RH74's, also known as Renate Hermansen, largest solo project to date.

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

The venue sits in a natural environment with little ambient light, allowing the mural to be a focal point for passersby.

The contrasting styles of the figure's detailed portrait with illustrative supporting elements are characteristic of Hermansen's signature mix of the symbolic and cartoonish.

In the end, the work acts as a testament to the grace and power of the female teams and the leaders who contributed to the building of their new long-term home.

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

The mural depicts a female figure guarding the venue, protecting the players from the outside and other nearby sporting activities.

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

The football caught in the web of the wings is a nod to the nearby Ålgård football arena, with the handball players continuing on undisturbed.

The web has a dual meaning, also referencing the region's traditional textile industry.

Guardian of Ålgård (September 2020) by RH74Nuart

In the mural, the players are represented as eagles – a bird commonly seen in the area.

Biography

RH74, real name Renate Hermansen, is a street artist and muralist from Jørpeland, Norway. Her illustrative and larger-than-life cartoonish style often incorporates symbolism and nods to feminism and the childlike. She is a frequent collaborator with Bergen street artist Nimi, contributing a mural to Nuart Aberdeen. Recently, she has been expanding the scale of her work and created a fifty-meter wide mural for a sports venue in Ålgård, Norway.

Guardian of Ålgård, RH74, September 2020, From the collection of: Nuart
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Credits: Story

Photography: Brian Tallman
Design and project management: Studio Bergini
Copy: Erik Sæter Jørgensen

Curated by Martyn Reed for Nuart

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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