Lea Porsager IS THE WINNER of the competition on the Memorial of the tsunami

Winning proposal is Gravitational Ripples by artist Lea Porsager.

Gravitational Ripples is inspired by a cosmic phenomenon know as gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein as early as in 1916, but first measured by scientists in 2016. Gravitational waves arise when two celestial bodies orbit each other, spinning closer and closer together, unleashing energy so powerful that it creates ripples in spacetime itself. The memorial conveys this all-encompassing, pulsating movement of the universe. It is a meditation on the boundless forces of the universe, a reminder of the cosmic disruptions that bind and unite us.

The memorial is a site-specific formation that merges with the landscape and its surroundings. It invites visitors to find their own paths, places and experiences and offers spaces for both solitude and collective gatherings or ceremonies.

The work consists of a double spiral that is made by adding soil to the site, creating ramparts that rise above the ground like ripples. Glazed by purple plants, the work becomes a double spiral jetty that moves in on itself, reminiscent of Fibonacci spirals — galaxies, snail houses and sunflowers.

The double spiral ripples outwards, moved by a gravitational pull towards its centre. Several openings in the ripples, supported by steel, create pathways and passages which provide insights and access, both to the centre and to more distant places for privacy.

At the centre of the Memorial, there are two sculptures. One large oval form with the engraved names of those deceased in the tsunami, and a smaller one with an overview of the Memorial. The centre also provides space for visitors to leave candles and flowers.

– Lea Porsager in cooperation with colleagues Rasmus Strange Thue Tobiasen, Søren Assenholt and Synnøve B. Brøgger

Illustration: Råformat visualiseringsbyrå i samarbete med konstnär Lea Porsager

ABOUT Lea Porsager

Lea Porsager (b. 1981, Frederikssund, Denmark) started her studies in the field of film in the early 2000s in Denmark, and later enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she obtained a Master in Fine Arts in 2010. She also studied at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main between 2008 and 2009. She is currently a PhD fellow in Fine Arts at Malmö Art Academy, Lund University, where she is developing a project about quantum theory and its relation to our thinking, art and spiritually.

Her work has been presented in several solo exhibitions in Denmark, as well as in Gothenburg (Sweden), New York (USA), Høvikodden (Norway), Göttingen and Berlin (Germany). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015) and dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel (2012), both curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.

In dOCUMENTA(13), Porsager presented Anatta Experiment (2012), a work that delves into the phantasmatic resonances of Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland, a location that, in the beginning of the 20th century, became a centre of gravity for experimental and countercultural communities, among whom anarchists, theosophists and Dadaists.

Porsager has summarized her practice as ”creating paradoxical spaces of mad, non-violent speculation.” Inspired by esoteric knowledges, quantum and feminist theory, her works unfold in several mediums, including film, sculpture, photography and text.

Lea Porsager has received numerous grants and prizes, among which are the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen’s Grant (2014), Montana ENTER Prize for her work LEAP – The Awakening of the Dark Muses (2008) and the Danish Arts Foundation’s three-year work-grant (2014-2016). She has also taken part in international artistic residencies in Europe and North-America. Her work has been featured in numerous books and publications, among which four solo artist books, all published in Denmark. Lea Porsager lives and works in Copenhagen.


The idea proposal with the motto “Gravitational waves” is the memorial that presents the highest artistic quality/artistic merit and the best conditions, after further development, to become the work that reminds and tells about the tsunami disaster to current and future generations. The proposal has qualities on different levels, which means that one can approach and experience the work in various ways. Spatial and landscape qualities are incorporated as well as existential value. The jury finds the idea proposal’s integrating design attractive in the manner that it takes on the whole site and is moving on many different levels.

Read the compiled statement from the jury here.

Credits: Illustration Gravitational Ripples: Lea Porsager/RÅformat visualiseringsbyrå. 2017