by Alt Går Bra

The acanthus is a millenary ornament, which can help us reflect upon ideas structuring contemporary society. Starting in Ancient Greece, the acanthus became the single ornament expanding over the widest geographic area and through the longest time span in human history.

The acanthus was particularly embraced in Norway, infusing much of Norwegian traditional arts including rosemaling and woodcarving, particularly in stave churches.

The ornament is alive today, surprisingly among young generations–it should suffice to look at tattoo shops and the latest sweaters by H&M.

The Acanthus Project studies the ornament in its archaeological, aesthetic, and philosophical dimensions, aiming to understand questions increasingly important today, including:

  • cosmopolitanism and the place of Norway in a globalized world
  • art and architecture as tools to inscribe historical and political positions
  • the importance of heritage to look back in order to move forward.

At Piksel Festival, Alt Går Bra will present its database and portal
This project maps the acanthus as an architectural ornament in the city of Bergen. Over 300 buildings have been so far documented and mapped. The application has been used to enhance the experience of guided walks and can be used for self-guided tours, research, and documentation, among other purposes.

Alt Går Bra has developed this portal in collaboration with programmer Birk Tjelmeland and with Sølve Nicolay Thobro Lauvås, expert in Bergen architecture and guide of the walks.

Alt Går Bra is currently presenting the Acanthus exhibition at its Alt Går Bra Lokale on Strandgaten 208, Bergen.

To learn more about the project, please visit and refer to the following resources:
Announcement on art-agenda
Video presentation of the guided walks
Kunstkritikk article
Alt Går Bra’s website