Guide to Copenhagen

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Tine’s guide to Copenhagen

A little time in the spotlight with our Marketing Exec Tine Toftdahl Nielsen. Like many of us, she’s been working from home over the last year, home in her case being Copenhagen, where she spent a lot of time before moving to London.

Though she grew up in rural Denmark, she got to know Copenhagen very well in her time there, so we thought it would be a good idea for Tine to take us on her own guided tour of the city, with a focus on the art and creative scene there. And looking at how Covid has impacted things too.

So, let’s hand over to Tine to show us around:

When did you first visit Copenhagen?

I first visited Copenhagen as a child. We used to go on short holidays and long weekends in Copenhagen to visit family and family friends.

What were your first impressions?

As a child I loved visiting Tivoli, an amusement park in Copenhagen, and also going to Dyrehaven and Bakken. Bakken is an amusement park just outside of Copenhagen which is located within a huge deer park and beautiful nature. So, in that way Copenhagen was an exciting place to visit. As a teenager I was happy to experience the diversity of Copenhagen compared to where I grew up.

Is there a strong arts scene in the city?

Though Copenhagen is mainly known for its design and architecture, the art scene has definitely grown the last few years. Other than a range of great museums and galleries, it’s also become the home of two high-end art fairs, Chart Art Fair and CODE.

Are there particular cultural hubs?

Both SMK – National Gallery of Denmark, Louisiana, Folkehuset Absalon and Blox host regular cultural events including talks, concerts, exhibitions etc., and are all great and inspiring places to hang out.

Is it much more contained than London?

I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s more contained than London. As the art scene is generally growing in Copenhagen, more varied art and creative initiatives appear. In Copenhagen there’s room for experimentation and for creativity to flourish without too much worrying about economics.

Are there any local brands you’d like to get involved with Breed artists?

It could be fun to work with any of the following brands: Ganni, Stine Goya, Saks Potts, Ecco, Baum und Pferdgarten, Astrid Andersen, Norse Projects, Henrik Vibskov.

Was it a good place to explore your own interest in design?

Yes, there’s a lot of focus on creativity in Copenhagen. I grew up in the countryside near Kolding and for being a relatively small place, Kolding also has a good art and design scene. So, coming to Copenhagen, I’d already had a chance to explore my interest in design.

I studied fashion design at VERA – School of Art and Design in Copenhagen before I moved to London 10 years ago and being able to explore Copenhagen in this context certainly opened my eyes to new opportunities.

How does the creative industry there differ from what you might find in London?

As London is more diverse, the creative industry is naturally more diverse than Copenhagen. I believe there might also be more charities and social enterprises focusing on art as a way of helping people in London.

Compared to London, the art scene and cultural hubs in Copenhagen are inclusive and open for all. However, I think both cities could work towards making art and creativity more accessible to everyone, no matter their background.

 Which galleries would you recommend?

Below is a list a some of the great galleries in Copenhagen:

Copenhagen Contemporary

A huge 7,000 m2 space showing installation art created by known artists and emerging talents.

The gallery also hosts talks, workshops and concerts.

Nikolaj Kunsthal

The gallery sits inside a 13th century church which is one of the oldest in Copenhagen. Every autumn the gallery is dedicated to art for the whole family. They also host concerts, artist talks and performances.

SMK – National Gallery of Denmark

SML is Denmark’s largest art museum located in a beautiful green space. The museum also hosts regular events.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Glyptoteket’s collection consists primarily of works of art and archaeological objects from Ancient Egypt, the worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome, Etruscan Culture, as well as Danish and French art of the 19th century. Inside the gallery is a beautiful green space which in itself is worth a visit.

V1 Gallery

V1 Gallery represents a select group of emerging and established artists and is committed to introducing art to an international audience. The gallery aspires to serve as a platform for art that interacts with the surrounding society.

GL STRAND.

GL STRAND is a modern art institution situated in the centre of Copenhagen. Every year GL STRAND forms the setting for 6-8 exhibitions, a varied film programme in the art cinema Kunstbiografen, a meeting-room installation and events linked with the changing exh­ibitions.

Do you have any favourite spots where you like to hang out?

I haven’t been out much since my partner and I moved to Copenhagen in September 2020 due to lockdown and covid restrictions. But the places I used to go for coffee, work and meeting friends and family are Navnløs Kaffebar, a café on Enghave Plads in Vesterbro, Harbo bar, a small café and bar in Nørrebro and Folkehuset Absalon, an old church turned into a community hub near the Meatpacking District in Vesterbro. 

How has the pandemic affected the city over the last year?

The pandemic has especially taken its toll on small businesses and the creative and cultural industry. But if we are to turn that into something positive, there is a new awareness of the importance of supporting local businesses. Brands, organisations and artists have also shown a creative and innovative way of working around the restrictions which has been welcomed by the audience and customers.

Image credit

Images by Céline Au détour d’un chemin and Visit Copenhagen.