A connection to history – start’19 in Brede Works, Denmark

On January 27th, the sculpture workshop of the Danish National Museum will open its doors to the public. With a mixture of exhibited contemporary sculptures and works from many centuries, this event will certainly be something special.

Brede Works contains and restores Scandinavian artworks and cultural heritage items. Located just north of Copenhagen, it is situated in one of Denmark’s largest historic industrial plants. The factory and its surroundings are maintained in their original state for visitors. The living quarters of the workers' and the country house of the factory owner can be seen from the stately park. 

Brede Works
Brede Works in Denmark © Helle Rask Crawford


The public opening of Brede Works will form part of the International day for sculpture. A special event organized by us, in which the art form of sculpture will be celebrated by people in over 70 locations across the world.

Brede Works
A sculpture inside Brede Works © Helle Rask Crawford

For thousands of years, mankind has cast, forged and sculpted with metals. "The workshop’s primary function is to restore and repair whatever piece of handcraft or art of Danish or Scandinavian cultural history that needs attention. They’ve got restorers and archeologists and other specialists employed to treat old cannons or sculpture or pictures- everything that needs attention.” says Helle Rask Crawford, a bronze sculptor who has established contact to the museum.

Especially for start’19 guests there will be a guided tour through the sculpture workshop that once served as a textile factory by conservation technician Michel Malfilâtre and an introduction to conservation techniques by chief conservator-restorer Eva Bøje Nielsen. The guests will also be able to forge iron themselves, taking part in traditional activities of the past.

To put contemporary sculpture artists into perspective with their history, bronze sculptors Helle Crawford and Malene Bjelke have organized an exhibition at Brede Work. It will include works from over 20 contemporary sculptors, mainly from the Danish Sculptors Society, interwoven into the historical surroundings of the museum. The artists will be there in person to speak about their work and to connect with everyone that’s interested. 

Brede Works
Brede Works © Arnold Mikkelsen


Helle Rask Crawford
Helle Rask Crawford © Christopher Cocks

As a metal sculptor, Helle Rask Crawford has a passion for her materials, describing her love for Bronze like so: “It’s very durable. If you drop the sculpture on the floor, the floor will break. It’s also a way to reach back in history and to have a connection with what’s been going on the last 6000 years in the world. The technique in bronze casting is not much different of what’s been found around 4000 BCE. It makes you feel a great connection to the ancient world of our predecessors.”

Helle has not always pursued a creative career, before she committed herself fully to being a sculptor she worked as a medical doctor. Despite this, she has never failed to draw plaudits to her work. Among other things Helle received The Ottillie Helen McLaren Wallace prize at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art in Edinburgh and was chosen to represent portraiture in the US by Society for Art of Imagination. Her bronze work often seems mythical or fairytale like, which has attracted many fans over the years.

Through the Glass
Helle Rask Crawford, Through the Glass, Height: 25cm, bronze, gold, glass, granit
© Helle Rask Crawford


Malene Bjelke is a Danish bronze sculptor. She has worked as a scenographer at the theatre. Now she creates delightful figural sculptures. Her sculptures seem to represent specific characters, representing finely felt moods and expressions. She is interested in the interaction between the figure and its surroundings. Viewers will be confronted with their own inner landscapes when studying the small figures, that appear deep in thought.

Malene Bjelke
Malene Bjelke in her workshop © Lena Paaske
Malene Bjelke, Girl friends (source/model Rineke Dijkstras Beach Portraits), bronze, 
h.:28 cm, 2018 © Malene Bjelke
Malene Bjelke, Boy from Sanary, edition: 3/5, bronze, hight: 60 cm, 2018 © Malene Bjelke


start’19 - sculpt the world with us!

The Sculpture Workshop
I.C. Modewegsvej 40
2800 Kongens Lyngby

Sunday, 27 January, 2019 
11.00 a.m.


Helle and Malene have participated at start for a few years now. It’s what connects them to other sculptors and people who are interested in sculpture. They particularly like the photo wall, an online photo feed, displaying live updates of social media posts from start events across the world. Join in yourself and experience a day for sculpture near your location! Find out about all of our venues here.

January 27 will be a day for sculpture: All over the world at more than 70 venues in studios, galleries, museums, sculpture parks and art academies – art lovers will gather. Helle and Malene already have set a great example of what start could be: experiencing and discussing art with others and making new contacts inside and outside of the art world.



Christina Benesch

Author: Christina Benesch

Christina Benesch works in the Munich sculpture network office and looks after the start'19 hosts after completing her master's degree in "Doing Culture" in the summer.

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