FOCUS OF THE WEEK "Children's friend" appointed HCA Ambassador

The entertainer Sigurd Barret was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador at the opening of the exhibition The Heart of Andersen at The Tinderbox.

By Oliver Newton - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 03 February 2005

On Friday 4 February, the children's cultural centre in Odense, The Tinderbox, opened a major exhibition to be featured throughout the Andersen bicentenary.

At the opening, one of Denmark's most popular entertainers and musicians, Sigurd Barrett, was appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador by Mayor of Odense and Chairman of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Anker Boye. The presence of a large group of children accompanying the mayor made the appointment of Sigurd Barrett a very festive occasion.

Following his appointment as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador, Sigurd Barrett took on his first public duty as Ambassador by declaring the fairytale art installation entitled The Heart of Andersen at The Tinderbox for open.

Sigurd states the following on his relationship to Andersen:
"Hans Christian Andersen has followed me ever since I was an infant. To me, Andersen is one of the greatest storytellers ever. What distinguishes Andersen is that he tells stories as much to adults as to children, which is something I strive to do too ? and that is great art."

Sigurd Barrett, Chairperson of The Tinderbox Foundation Conny Stolberg-Rohr, and Chairman of the HCA 2005 Foundation Anker Boye.

Facts about Sigurd Barrett
Sigurd Barrett is widely known among adults as well as children for his TV success on national Danish broadcasting Hit Med Sangen, Sigurd's Ulvetime and Sigurd's Bjørnetime.

Sigurd Barrett is a very busy person, and between his many TV appearances, he performs at more than 100 events nationwide.

In June 2005, Sigurd Barrett will travel to China with the National Danish Symphony Orchestra as part of a major Hans Christian Andersen project. Here he is to perform at two concerts which will also feature the Chinese Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador and actor Zhang Jinlai, who has specialised in performing as the Chinese folklore superhero, The Monkey King.

Facts about The Heart of Andersen
The Heart of Andersen is a huge heart-formed fairytale installation which sends visitors on an enchanted journey through the life and fairytales of Andersen - as well as their own life. The installation features as an artistic space of transformation. Visitors will be equipped with a Heart Suitcase containing different items to be used on the journey through the fairytales - The Snow Queen, The Fir Tree, The Sweat Hearts, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Match Seller. The audience uses the items as props as they actively take part in the stories, becoming the characters of the stories.

Installation artist Thomas Wolsing, who was trained at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen, renders a contemporary interpretation of the wealth of Andersen's tales and life and their relevance today.

Thomas Wolsing states on his Hans Christian Andersen installation: "I see the heart as an image of the life of any person - the heart is subjected to many woes and pains. But no matter where we are in life, we carry our heart with us and are always in transformation."

Facts about The Tinderbox
The Tinderbox has chosen the heart as the primary symbol of the project for both Andersen himself and the message his fairytales and life represent - to dare follow your heart and transform into a beautiful swan. 

The installation will be open to the public from 8 February. Opening hours: 14 - 27 February every day. After 27 February: Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 4 pm.