The infinitely great, the infinitely little

Year: 2022

Project type: Permanent public art installation

Location: Brandengen, Drammen, Norway

Artist: Ingrid Solvik

Engineering/lighting: Gard Gitlestad


«The infinitely great, the infinitely little» is a permanent interactive installation in an outdoor atrium at Brandengen primary school in Drammen, Norway. The artwork consists of 7 illuminated «stars» of different hues, suspended in the air. A concrete triangle breaks through the surface of the ground; a box with a sitting creature stands on the triangle. The figure holds a rope which runs from the sculpture and «through» the wall and into the wardrobe on the ground floor. When the rope is pulled, the light embedded in the stars changes, thereby creating a connection between sculpture and child, outdoor and indoor.

The artwork is based on a dream Ingrid had at age 6, the same age as the pupils when they start school:


«In the dream I was sitting in a cardboard box, standing on a frozen lake. In my hand was a rope leading to shore. It was night, and the sky was clear and starry. Above my head, thousands of stars where shimmering. Some of the stars where shining so bright that their light reflected in the ice around me. The reflections melted the ice, and the ice stared breaking up in large sheets.

At the time of this dream, we had recently learned about the universe and our solar system. So when I looked up at the starry sky, I no longer saw a celestial sphere dotted with light. I looked straight into the infinity of the universe, which filled me with equal amounts of awe and anxiety.»

The «stars» have approximate diameters of 70-90 cm each, and are cast in a custom composite material developed in-house. Each star has a unique mixture of stone particles of different hues, as well as mica, which creates reflections in daylight and adds texture when internally illuminated. The stars contain a custom linear, omnidirectional colour changing LED light source.

The sculpture is cast in an acrylic cement-based composite. The box is made of weathering steel. The rope is connected to a load sensor and an industrial computer which controls the lighting.


Commissioned after art competition.

Client: Drammensbygg KF

Curator: Eli Vinsnes Goldstein

Architects: Ola Roald AS Arkitektur

In-situ concrete casting: Wear Entreprenør AS

Steelwork: Trosterud Mekaniske Verksted AS

Photos 2, 5 and 6: Kyrre Hagen / Drammensbygg KF