Posts Tagged ‘art


263/2011 gerbera labyrinth

263/2011 gerbera labyrinth, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

After a pause of a couple of years, this blaze of colourful flowers has filled the space in front of the Cathedral again. It’s an environmental work of art by artist Kaisa Salmi. In 2008, it was called ‘Gerbera sea’. This time, the 5000 gerberas of different colours have been arranged in circles, with narrow paths in between, as in a labyrinth. In the middle of the labyrinth, there are old, worn white leather couches, and a table set with plates and glasses of wine.

It was an invigorating experience to walk round and round, soaking in the bright colours of the flowers. Another exciting event, provided for us by the European Capital of Culture year. At noon on Friday, the flowers, donated by a local garden, will be given away to any residents who care to go and pick them. I might go and bring one of these orange ones home – if I’m quick and lucky enough!

This is how the whole arrangment looked:

And here is the link to the whole set of my gerbera pictures from today. I also found a video from 2008, where the same artist is setting up her first gerbera installation, at the same place.


231/2011 culture by the riverside

231/2011 culture by the riverside, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Another great evening of art and culture by the riverside in our European capital of culture. Acrobatics inside glowing bubbles gliding on the water. Reminded me of the old British cult series – the Prisoner. “I am not a number, I am a free man!”


224/2011 save me!

224/2011 save me!, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

For a few weeks I’ve been spotting colourful seal statues around town. It is an environmental arts project, part of the European Capital of Culture year.

Artist Stefan Lindfors designed the fibre glass seal statue, and then they were given to 40 different artists to paint and decorate. Once completed, they were taken to different locations – in front of public buildings, in parks, in malls etc.

The purpose is to promote the protection of the Baltic Sea, where the seals have not been doing too well recently. Each seal is numbered, and has a little info board, drawing attention to what each individual could do to save the endangered sea environment. The statues will stay in place till the end of September when they will be auctioned, and the money, of course, will be donated to environmental causes.

Good idea but already some of these art pieces have been vandalised and ruined – most likely by irresponsible youngsters. So sad!

Here is my set of pictures of the different seals.


192/2011 what do you see?

192/2011 what do you see?, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Looking through a street scene through the flower-shapes of an installation art piece gives it a whole new dimension. It works a bit like a lens filter that can be used in photography to create novel effects. The beauty and magic of installation art like this is how it interacts with its surroundings, making everybody’s perception uniquely personal.

This is a detail of a new art piece ‘Refrain’ by artist Saara Ekström, next to the city library, a 14-metre steel wall with a repeating flower theme cut all the way through it.


161/2011 student learning to understand the world

How interesting to visit our daughter’s foreign university campus. A curious mix of ancient and modern, but now largely deserted for the summer. No students studying on the lawns, which drew my attention to this bronze sculpture.

It’s called ‘Youth with Split Apple’, and is by a Scottish sculptor Kenny Hunter. The accompanying plaque read:

“Kenny Hunter’s art offers a contemporary take on traditional figurative sculpture. Unlike the commanding figures of many triumphal monuments, here a student reclines among us, sharing our space. He is holding an apple, a traditional symbol of intellectual awakening, which is split in two to suggest the dualistic nature of knowledge, good and bad. In this work, Kenny Hunter questions the assumption that knowledge is acquired through action, instead suggesting that openness and contemplation play their part and that the aim of life is not to change the world but to understand it.”

These words and ideas really spoke to me, as a teacher on my summer holiday. We all need contemplative time, to understand the world around us a bit better. Perhaps then we might even be ready for some action to make tiny changes.


152/2011 welcome june!

152/2011 welcome june!, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Taking a walk along the riverside revealed another environmental art installation of our culture capital. Giant glass-fibre eiders, by artist Reima Nurmikko, have been set free to float in the river. According to the artist, they symbolize freedom, but even more importantly, the artist wants to draw attention to the urgency of protecting the Baltic Sea, the habitat of the real eiders that come to build their nests in our waters.


One local comprehensive school also acquired a few of these bird statues some years back, and they have become favourite climbing and playing frames for the students, while reminding them of environmental issues at the same time.

June started with a sudden heatwave – +28 degrees Celcius today! Lots of people flocked to the riverbanks in the afternoon.


098/2011 a museum with a view

098/2011 a museum with a view, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

This old printing house, converted into a modern exhibition centre in Espoo, has huge windows in one end that open a view to the surrounding woods. Trees inside as well, in the form of modern sculptures.


016/2011 a new arts venue

016/2011 a new arts venue, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

To finish the grand opening weekend of the Culture Capital Year, we went to check out the new LOGOMO venue. It’s an old train warehouse and engineering workshop, now refurbished into one of the main venues of this year’s cultural events. I like the idea of rough, industrial environments being transformed into something more human.

If you go there on foot, the shortest way from town is across this pedestrian bridge over the main railway lines. A new light and sound installation now decorates this bridge, too. Flickering red led lights, and irregular urban or machinery sounds. Something I’ve seen and heard at some airports abroad before.

In the cafe of the venue, I guess they have tried to illustrate railwaylines in the black and white decor. And the one orange line and lamp represent the signature colour of the Culture Capital Year. It is probably very trendy and modern, but I couldn’t spend long there. Somehow the surroundings make me very nervous. I feel like I have to rush to catch my train that’s about to leave. Maybe that is the idea – to have a very fast turnover of customers!


014/2011 first lights of the culture capital

The first art installations for the Culture Capital year were unveiled – or actually lit – today. This pile driver machine, and the glowing polycarbonate light pile, by lighting designer Ilkka Paloniemi, will illuminate the market square for this opening weekend.

The pile is 782 cm high – one centimetre for each year of our town’s history. It also reminds us that most of our buildings have been built on mud, which is why lots of piles had to be used in the foundations. This year, culture is metaphorically being pushed deep into the muddy ground, in the hope of giving it a steady place here.


008/2011 pink giant

008/2011 pink giant, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Posankka (a Finnish compound out of ‘possu’, pig and ‘ankka’, duck), a giant hybrid of a plastic duck and a marzipan pig has greeted visitors to our town by the main motorway since 1999. Many people have a love-hate relationship with it. It is huge (just look at the person walking under its tail to get the dimensions!), cartoon-like (the sculptor, Alvar Gullichsen is said to have been influenced by Disney, among others), and rather hideous. But in over 10 years, we have got used to it, and oftentimes don’t even notice it’ when driving past. But today it caught my eye, as it provided at least a tiny hint of colour in the winter whiteness.

I like environmental art, as it easily becomes interactive – both positively and negatively. This pig-duck is dressed in a Santa hat and a red bow around its tail for the Christmas season, children love hugging it, and people test their climbing skills by trying unusual poses on it. One spring, a university students’ prank consisted of arranging a brood of colourful little plastic ducks beside it – the pig-duck had finally given birth! The negative consists of unavoidable graffiti and other dirt that has to be washed away at regular intervals. Naturally, it also gets exposed to the elements, and keeps changing its looks according to the seasons – like today, with its snout and eyes full of snow, poor thing!

Good or bad, environmental art challenges more people to think about art, as it’s more visible than exhibitions inside galleries, only visited by a selected few. This pink giant certainly screams for a reaction, and can’t just be ignored.


July 2020

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