Iron Rose Monument in Oslo

26-06-2020 10.00 pm

Today (which also happens to be my birthday) we visited the Iron Rose monument which is located outside of the Oslo Cathedral. It is not difficult to find, since the monument is centrally situated on the doorstops of the main shopping street/hub in the capital of Oslo, Karl Johan. The Iron Rose monument is probably my favourite July 22 monument (if I had to choose one).

The Iron Rose monument was unveiled last year on September 28th in a special ceremony organised by Oslo Muncipality.

Sydney and I outside of the Oslo Cathedral (2020) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Sharidyn's Iron Rose (2020) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Sharidyn's name on her rose (2020) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Iron Rose Monument in Oslo (2020) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Our Iron Rose to Sharidyn!

03-08-2019 9.30 pm

Today my family and I travelled to Bærums Verk which is approximately an hour to drive from Drammen. There is a lot to see and do at Bærums Verk but tucked away in a corner of the main hub of Bærums Verk you will find Swedish-born Sculptor and artist, Tobbe Malm

Tobbe together with Tone Mørk Karlsrud initiated the Iron Rose project in Norway after the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya on 22nd July 2011. Deeply moved by the sea of roses outside of the Oslo Cathedral, Tobbe and Tone were inspired by the spontaneously solidarity by strangers which was the foundation and motivation for starting the Iron Rose project in Norway.

Blacksmiths from all over the world were invited to contribute to the project. What is especially unique with this project is that 22nd July bereaved families were also invited to forge their own rose in memory of their loved one, as well as survivors. All the materials that the families used to forge their roses was funded primarily by Tobbe Malm - his genuine kindness is the main reason why many families like ours accepted his kindness to forge our own Iron Rose.

Below is a selection of photos that my family and I have taken, which I am allowed to share on my blog-website. Visiting Tobbe and forging our own Iron Rose in memory of my sister, Sharidyn is deeply personal. For our parents, it was a very emotional day - made easier because of Tobbe.

When we first arrived, Tobbe offered us coffee, juice and biscuits in his workshop. The first thing I thought when we met Tobbe was he is so kind.  Tobbe chatted for what seemed like a long time, with my parents before we started - and he took his time to just talk. Sydney and I had a nosey around his workshop, looking at all the different Iron Roses that other families had already made, as well as the monument construction that stood outside of his workshop. 

Forging an Iron Rose looks easy, but it was a lot more intricate than we first thought. All the metal petals were pre-cut - just waiting for us to hammer away at them. Each petal was placed inside an oven to heat up the metal - and once the metal was hot enough, we  then hammered the perfections out of each petal. This process took about an hour or so.

Once we were done with the petals, we then hammered in each letter of Sharidyns name - Dad mainly did this part. Seeing each letter of Sharidyns name appear on the petal as dad hammered away, was both really cool and really sad. To be honest, I would rather have my sister. Making Sharidyn's rose was our contribution to what would eventually be part of the Iron Rose monument. Our rose to Sharidyn was our tribute to Sharidyn, just like for each bereaved family.

The idea, motivation and process of making the Iron Rose I believe, had one common theme - kindness. Tobbe wasn't a politician in a suit making decisions for us - instead Tobbe exemplifies everything the terrorist hated about Norway's multi-cultural society. Tobbe in his unique way, brought communities of people from all over Norway and other parts of the world, in particular bereaved families - to celebrate and memorialise peoples geniune inherent kindness. Imagine being a part of a project that represents kindness, that is purely motivated by kindness?

Unfortunately there isn't one 22nd July monument in Norway that doesn't have some scandal relating to it's design, construction, lack of process or involvement by the bereaved families. Unfortunately sad but true. That is why Tobbe Malms Iron Project is unique - he has managed to do something no one else in Norway has done - invite the bereaved families and communities around the world to contribute - motivated by kindness. Not politics, recognition or money - just kindness! 

Thank you Tobbe Malm for helping us make our own Iron Rose in memory of Sharidyn!


Pappa og Tobbe Malm making Sharidyns rose (2019) Photo Credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

My little sister making one of the petals of Sharidyns rose (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Me hammering away at my petal (2019) Photo credit: O.R Bøhn

Sydney poised and ready (2019) Photo Credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Mum and dad working on their petals (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Me and dad working on sculpting the petals that we had been hammering away at (2019) Photo credit: V. Svebakk

Sharidyns name on her rose (2019) S. Svebakk-Bøhn

For our sister Sharidyn (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Our iron rose in memory of Sharidyn (2019) Photo Credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Me together with artist and initiator of Iron Rose project, Tobbe Malm (2019) Photo credit: O.R Bøhn

Our mum, Vanessa and Tobbe Malm (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

Sharidyns Iron Rose (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn

In loving memory to Sharidyn (2019) Photo credit: S. Svebakk-Bøhn