Ursula Reuter Christiansen

Svanetræf / Swan Rally

Ursula Reuter Christiansen’s work is inspired by the local surroundings by the water in Holbæk, but it is also a work containing mythical elements: swans, mermaids and mermen. The sea remains one of the great unsolved mysteries — we simply know very little about what goes in the depths under the surface.

Svanetræf also contains Danish symbols of national romanticism – references to H.C. Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Edvard Eriksen’s depiction of her on Langelinie in Copenhagen harbor and not least the Danish national bird the swan, featured here in both gold and silver versions.

The artist’s previous works often include a call for action or a political dimension. Svanetræf tones down this aspect, yet the fairy-tale traits of the work may hold the merest hint of critique, indicating that the ideology of national romanticism is itself a “magical story.” Born and raised in Germany, the artist had a studio in Berlin during the Cold War with a direct view of the River Spree, running between East- and West- Berlin. There were no people — only swans were able to effortlessly cross the border. For the artist this beautiful bird became a symbol of this freedom of which it was entirely unaware.

b. 1943 in Trier, Germany, lives and works on the island of Møn.