Instinctively, Norwegian Fageras wants to depict what he sees with a desire of perfection, enabling him to communicate something that he cannot do with words.
an article written by Carmen Line Hust
ARTICULATE #29 | October 2021
The creative drive of the Norwegian sculptor Håkon Anton Fagerås (b. 1975) is driven by the fact, that the more he works, the more he wants to work. Fagerås (which in this article we will name Fageras, due to language) has a very strong will to improve his skills and master his craft. He’s rarely satisfied with what he’s created, but instead of changing the criteria, he challenges himself to become better at what he does. That, to him, is a huge motivation. Instinctively he wants to depict what he sees, like we all did when we were children, drawing. Fagerås never lost that desire of perfection, as it enables him to communicate something that he cannot do with words.
All the finished sculptures of Fageras are in marble or bronze, but whatever materials his sculptures end up as, he always start by modelling them in clay. To him, clay seduces almost everyone who tries it. There’s something fascinating about the way it instantly follows your hand movements. But, at the same time as it gives room for spontaneity, there is no limit to how much you can keep adding and taking away from it. So, even for a roughly finished piece, it can be a long process. That’s something clay has in common with marble.
To Fageras, carving in marble is a very slow process; there’s something special about the repetitive, time-consuming work. Being in the middle of a long period of working, going to the workshop day after day, working until he’s exhausted, and slowly moving the work forward, is very rewarding. The fact that it takes so long also affects the result. A slow material like stone often leads to a more subdued expression. Fageras’s not sure why it feels easier to him to express vulnerability through a long, slow process, though. Perhaps he needs the time to search, to pay attention to the nuances, and to create a natural body language and presence.
To Fageras, ideas sometimes come as bubbles of air from the depth of the water to the surface. Some are born out of conscious reflection over time, some just appear by themselves. He finds that the more he works with a subject the more ideas related to that subject will come, but all of them conceived in different ways. After years of working, it might become inevitable for recipes for making art to form in his head, but he tries his best to avoid that.
Subjects are chosen from the fascinations and experiences of Fageras. He finds sculpture to be a perfect medium for showing, and hopefully creating in the viewer a feeling of, fragility and vulnerability.
Basically, all the work of Fageras, is in some way connected to this. Throughout history sculpture, and especially marble sculpture, has been used to depict perfect beauty, and a means to show power and wealth. Fageras works with beauty as well, but he'd rather look for beauty in the everyday life and in the average body. Fageras is continuously fascinated by the ability a figurative sculpture must be present in the same space as humanity, almost like a real person. Therein lies its strength.
The key method of Fageras in creating a good composition can be described in three words – doubt, discomfort, and patience. The doubt lies in the critical, questioning gaze when he examines the sculpture in search of weaknesses.
Discomfort is the best word he can think of to describe the feeling when he sees something on the sculpture that needs to be improved. It could be a matter of micro-millimetres, or it could be a very basic alteration, but he knows there is something that he just has to change. When someone asks what it takes to make a good sculpture, his only answer is patience. But he’d be lying if he’d fail to admit that he often feels terribly impatient.
This article about Håkon Anton Fagerås takes part of the 29th magazine, ARTICULATE #29. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below.