Cardiff and Bergen Hubs strengthen cultural ties: Prisoner of War exhibition in Cardiff Bay

Cardiff and Bergen Hubs strengthen cultural ties: Prisoner of War exhibition in Cardiff Bay

The Cardiff Hub was delighted to be one of the invited guests to the opening of a new art exhibition at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay.  Prisoner of War is the work of Bergen artist Bodil Friele and draws on wartime experiences of her father, recorded in his notebooks and poems.  He was in a Halifax bomber plane shot down near Hamburg in 1943 and spent the rest of the war in a Nazi POW camp.

The exhibition was opened by the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Dianne Rees, who charted the Church’s 150-year history and its symbolism as an important part of the evolution of Cardiff over that time.

Our Academic Director, Professor Ole Petersen, was one of the invited speakers at the launch.  He highlighted the deep links between Cardiff and Bergen, established through the Academia Europaea hubs in both cities.  In particular, the hubs had collaborated closely in work on the Food from the Oceans evidence review, prepared for the European Commission last year.  Professor Petersen also spoke movingly of his own family connections with Norway, having spent part of his childhood there.

Air Commodore Adrian Williams reminded the audience that 1.2 million people from over 60 countries served in the RAF in World War II, with Norway playing an important part.  Of the 125,000 people in Bomber Command (and with an average age of 22 years), 56,000 lost their lives.  Their night missions were described by one veteran as “death in the dark”.

The curator of the exhibition, Bjorn Follevaag, described Bodil Friele’s work as “honest and brave”, communicating the futility of violence and war through her art.  The artist herself declared that her mission was to describe how war affects us all.

The exhibition Prisoner of War is at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay from 26th October to 12th November.  It is free and open to all.

29th October 2018. For further information please contact Juliet Davies, Executive Officer




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