Anne Louise Blicher

The Way of the Pearl Mussel


The installation consists of two compositions of 22 enameled steel plates placed in the same side street leading up to the art parc Varde Garten in Varde, DK. The compositions measure respectively 225 x 250 cm and 160 x 390 cm.
The wall sculptures are inspired by the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera, which in Denmark only lives in the river Varde Å. There it has survived since the last glacial period despite of the ‘pearl fever’ in the 1930s, which started an overfishing, and the later mercury pollution of the river. For years it was thought to be extinct, but recent rediscovery last year due to construction work in connection to a new high-voltage freeway, where cables have to cross Varde Å, revived the motive. Now the mussel is not just a symbol of the past but a sign of a sustainable Varde, where the mussel thrives. The silhouette shape of the mussel is chosen as the basic form for the composition onto which the mussel as motive is reflected and unfolded.