Yggdrasil: from Norse Mythology to Anselm Kiefer’s art works

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 14 June

12.00-1.30pm in Room 4.204

Gillian Lock-Bowen (member of the Centre for Myth Studies)

We are very pleased to announce that Gillian Lock-Bowen continues our Summer term discussion of Trees & Forests with a session on Yggdrasil


Anselm Kiefer, Yggdrasil (1980), drawing, photograph,
82.6 x 58.7 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In this session we will consider Yggdrasil as an archetype World Tree and Tree of Life – Axis Mundi and Sacred Tree as translated from ancient Scandinavian oral traditions into the thirteenth-century Poetic and Prose Eddas.

A brief overview of other ancient Axis Mundi and Tree of Life narratives will widen the framework for our discussion of Kiefer’s works and mythological & religious concepts relevant to twentieth-century Germany.

To conclude we will review significant characteristics of trees which render them effective devices for communicating multi-layered narratives even in the face of a crisis of representation.

Set texts:

H. R. Ellis Davidson, “The Beginning and the End”, in Gods and Myths in Northern Europe, London: Penguin, 1964, pp. 190-195.

Extracts from Michael Auping, Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth, London: Prestel, 2006.

Optional sources:

Anselm Kiefer: artworks & exhibitions at Tate Gallery

Anselm Kiefer: Remembering the Future, Part 1/5 of BBC Imagine… , Winter 2014 Arts series presented by Alan Yentob [available on Youtube]


This entry was posted in Reading Group. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yggdrasil: from Norse Mythology to Anselm Kiefer’s art works

  1. Pingback: #Yggdrasil: from #Norse #Mythology to #AnselmKiefer’s #art works — #Essex Myth @wordpress #Author #Blog – Ola Queen Bee of Astrology

  2. Viking Store says:

    very good content, i recommend for more info to read this post https://viking-store.com/blogs/viking-norse-mythology/yggdrasil-the-tree-of-life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.