BI-Z Kristiansand exhibited prints and paintings by Her Majesty the Queen Sonja of Norway and the artists Ørnulf Opdahl and Kjell Nupen October 4 – October 28.

QUEENLY EXHIBITION: BI-Z Kristiansand exhibited prints and paintings by Queen Sonja, Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opdahl. (Photo: Desirée N. Skalle)

Kjell Nupen is a well-known Norwegian painter and graphic artist in the field of contemporary art. His art has been internationally exhibited. He is also known for decoration assignments, such as the sculpture installation in Otterdalparken, Kristiansand. Ørnulf Opdahl is also a Norwegian painter and graphic artist whose art mainly pictures natural scenes in a poetic and abstract manner.

Queen Sonja and the two artists have worked together previously when founding the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award, together with the Atelje Larsen in Sweden in spring 2010. This foundation aims to support Nordic artists and to stimulate the interest in paper-based art. For the first time ever, the Award  was presented to the Finnish artist Tiina Kivinen in 2012. From this year on, it will be awarded annually.

The success of the Queen’s art

Now, the three artists are having an exhibition where each of them exhibits a fair amount of simply elegant artwork. The exhibition is taking place in one of Norway’s biggest private art galleries, BI-Z in Kristiansand. Queen Sonja herself presents two of her prints that she created in Sweden and eight prints that were printed in the Kristiansand Grafikk Verksted KGV which cooperates closely with the BI-Z gallery. Fifteen copies of each of these new prints were given to the BI-Z gallery for sale and the profits will be given to the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award Foundation.

As for the opening night of the exhibition, it was such a huge success that all of the Queen’s prints were sold out during this evening. Queen Sonja, though, was so generous as to provide five more prints more of each artwork. This is obviously a great success for BI-Z and Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award. Unfortunately the Queen herself could not attend the opening.

Working with the Queen

In Ørnulf Opdahl the Queen has found a great friend. They have travelled together and he has also taught her the art of printing. One can find many similarities Among the individual artistic details in their works. In some prints Queen Sonja and Ørnulf Opdahl picture similar natural scenes such as mountain tops and waterfalls. Even the form of the pictured objects on the paper are quite alike. Thus, the influence of her dear friend and teacher and where she got some of her inspiration from becomes quite obvious in her art.

As the three of them still are working together, in context of the Queen Sonja Nordic Art Award Foundation and also as friends, we are hoping and looking forward to seeing more of Queen Sonjas art in near future. Obviously, the BI-Z gallery is hoping for a further collaboration with the Queen in terms of exhibiting her arts.

Text: Nina Grünewald –

Photo: Desirée N. Skalle –


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