A tall, brown-stained staircase leads up to the museum ceiling. Andreas Siqueland designed the staircase to work with the enormous canvases in the exhibition. The staircase's high risers relate to the enlarged dimensions in the beautiful landscape painting The Forbidden Forest (Early Spring). In this way, the staircase contributes to creating a connection between the reality inside the museum and the ambiguous situation hinted at in the exhibition. Similar staircases can be seen in paintings from artist studios in the 19th century. Siqueland drew inspiration from the staircase in the studio of the French artist Henri Matisse. One of Matisse's most famous paintings, The Red Studio, was painted in 1937 and depicts a deep red room with several of Matisse's own paintings scattered throughout. The bold and impactful color combinations in the painting have been a significant inspiration for Siqueland in the work on the exhibition.
How do we interpret colours, and what do they mean to us? Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensen often painted the view of the sea and the mountains by the sea in beautiful blue-green hues. Regarding the painting Uveir (Storm), he explains: "I painted 'Storm' the day the Korean War broke out. After a visit to Lillesand where I had read the news about the difficult situation the world was in. [...] With a resonance in purple and transitioning into violet and green, the painting took on a melancholy tone that resonated well with my emotional experience that day [...]."
Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensen (1900-1961) often painted landscapes by the sea or interiors. His paintings are characterized by finely tuned color fields and a willingness to simplify and reduce visual impressions. As a painter, he was concerned with uniting a strong experience of nature with the formal elements of the painting. There should be harmony between the experience of the subject and the expression in the painting. Already at the age of 13, he began an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and had a long career as a silversmith and enamel artist. Lie-Jørgensen was employed as a designer at the goldsmith company David Andersen from 1927 to 1939. In parallel, he was a student of Axel Revold at the National Academy of Arts from 1927 to 1929, and he continued as a freelance illustrator until 1961.