The X-BOW® inspires artists


The X-BOW has inspired various artists, from bank note and stamp illustrators, to church architects and animators.

Read in Norwegian

Together with a Viking ship on bank note

The ‘Gokstad’ Viking ship is portrayed in front, with an X-BOW offshore ship behind, on the new NOK note that was taken in use in Norway in May 2017. Read full story.

Some people ask us if the X-BOW inspiration comes from the Viking ships. The answer is no. An explanation can be found in this 2006 interview with a museum representative from Ålesund Museum: Surfing on top of the waves - Ulstein

Eight artists were originally invited to participate in a contest about the new NOK note series, for which the topic was set to be 'The Ocean'. The Bank of Norway picked The Metric System/Terje Tønnesen as winner of the obverse sides of the notes, while the basis of the reverse sides are the pixel motifs submitted by Snøhetta.

Two of the other seven artists also used the X-BOW in their proposals.

Church architecture

The architecture and design office Snøhetta is well recognized for projects such as the 9/11 memorial in New York and the library in Alexandria – and the reverse side of the new Norwegian bank notes. They have also been chosen as architects of the potential new church in the municipality of Ulstein. When the company presented the project in 2016, they revealed that the X-BOW has inspired the development of the new church.

“In the process of concept development we gain inspiration from local and more distant references. The local references are important as it can help create a connection between the project and the local place. When developing the ‘Excelsior’ project for the Ulstein church, the X-BOW is one of the local references we studied. The vessel shape is an icon of innovative design and we are very enthusiastic about the product and the story behind it. We also discussed the yard industry in general, and steel as material. Steel will be used in interior dividing walls and exterior retaining walls,” says Margrethe Lund, who is project manager at Snøhetta.

Villain on film

X-BOW was the ‘bad guy’ in the animation film ‘Elias og jakten på havets gull’ (Elias and the quest for the golden treasure).

“The world’s coolest vessels are the X-BOWs. And in the film world, the villain is the coolest. That is why the main villain in this film, the ‘Polar queen’ and all her assistants are X-BOW vessels,” said film producer John M. Jacobsen.

Stamp illustrations

The seismic vessel Vyacheslav Tikhonov was named in Sochi in 2011 by the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. In 2013, the vessel was presented in a Russian series of maritime stamps. The ship is originally the Polarcus Selma, and was built for Polarcus at Drydocks World Dubai. She was signed on a bareboat charter in 2011 to Russian OAO Sovcomflot.

Several other Ulstein vessels have previously been portrayed on stamps. These include the fishing boat 'Krùnborg', yard number 48H, on a 1977 Faroese stamp, and the coastal speed ferry 'Polarlys' on a Norwegian series of thematic stamps on Nordic food culture from 2016.

Yard number 215, the combined passenger vessel/research vessel ‘Polar Circle’, entered the polar cruise traffic in 1991. The vessel, currently named HMS Endurance, has been portrayed on a stamp in the British Antarctic Territory, and on stamps in the isle of Tristan Da Cunha in the southern Atlantic. Some of the latter stamps were printed with the text ‘Hurricane relief 2001’, meaning that some of the money paid for the stamps were shared with the victims of a hurricane damaging the island in 2001. The shipyard was later awarded the 'Outstanding Oceangoing Shipbuilder Award 1991' for the construction of this vessel.

Another series of Norwegian stamps showing scenes from offshore work life in 1985, one of the stamps is yard number 177, the anchor handling tug supply vessel ‘Odin Viking’.

A first day cover dating back to 1988, portrays the two Torulf ferries, yard number 11 and 33H. The new Herøy bridge, which is the stamp motive, replaced these ferries.

When images of boats are taken in use on stamps and notes and to other purposes, this helps promote the maritime industry as a vital factor in society.