Making "Descending Blues" (2013)

“Descending Blues” is a giant wallpainting made in collaboration with Espen Henningsen. Made in 2013 it is located in Sam Eyde high school in a busy stairway.

It consist of 27 shades of blue, going from light to dark and from big to small fields from top to bottom. It’s 12 meters high, and about the same in width as it stretches around the surrounding walls.

In this rare case, we were allowed to choose the best location for us to do something. We chose two areas, this stairway being the main piece, the other being “The Mission”, placed close by.

When we saw this monumental uninterrupted wall in the stairway, we knew we could make something unique. We wanted to make something that was cool, monumental but also relatively subtle, something that would change your perspective as you would walk up or down the stairs.

We started with only three colors to mix all 27 of them. We had the lightest, darkest and the middle tone, which was to be color number 13. Each of the other colors had to be manually mixed. I made a mathematical chart to blend the shades evenly based on weight. For this to work I also needed to know how much of the color we would need. So for example, to mix color number 5 there needed to be 72% of the lightest color and 28% of the middle color. We then needed a total of 850 grams to paint the area with two coats, which would translate to 612 grams of the lightest and 238 grams of the middle color.

We had to be very careful to keep everything in order, and put numbers on both the paint-buckets and on the various rollers used.

In the end everything worked out perfectly. When you stand at the bottom looking up it looks like you’re looking up at the infinite sky, and when you look from the top down it looks like you’re looking deep down the in the abyss.

We were very happy with the result and the best indicator of something good, is that it is now hard to imagine it being any other way.