Posts Tagged ‘Culture Capital


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!”


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.


077/2011 culture bus

077/2011 culture bus, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Muddy times, as you can see!

The European Culture Capital year is seen in many different ways in our cityscape. One good marketing strategy is to use public transport as mobile billboards. There are a number of different painting on our town buses. This is one of my favourites – a spiky-haired punk blowing ‘culture’ bubbles, colourful circles being the symbol of our special cultural year.


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!


015/2011 the grand opening

015/2011 the grand opening, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Turku has now officially opened its year of being one of the European Capitals of Culture. I’m afraid, some of my fears of what the year will have in store, materialised with the opening spectacle tonight. I’m sorry to say that it smacked of a huge media event, where all that counted was that it looked good on TV, but who could care less about the 50 000 people who turned up along the riversides, defying the biting cold of almost minus 20 degrees Celcius! Big screens were erected around the town for people to watch the live TV broadcast of a massive light, fire and sound show, by the group ‘Walk the Plank’ from England (why not domestic artists??). I had decided in advance not to even try to photograph any of the show, but to concentrate on seeing and experiencing it for real, without looking through the camera lens. In the end, I didn’t hear or see a lot, the area was simply too vast for the show make an impact on people standing further away. But the fireworks were spectacular! Just makes me wonder how many millions were shot up in the air with them, which could have been spent on improving the poor working conditions of many artists in our town.

But not to sound overly critical and negative, I did enjoy some of the ambience of the evening. Seeing thousands of people make their way along the riversides and across the ice, briskly and in a very determined manner because of the cold, was true evidence of our national charasteristic ‘sisu’ (guts, perseverance, endurance).

Hundreds of school children had been recruited to carry lanterns in processions, to bring light to the darkness, and to guide people to the spectacle area. I really enjoyed seeing them bundled up warmly, so earnest and serious, carrying out this special assignment.

But, once again, why on earth did willow branches of the frames have to be imported from England, to a country covered in forests!? I must say, though, that the lanterns did look nice in the dark night, and later on, hoisted up the masts of the old museum ship.

A special ‘River Aura symphony’ had been ‘composed’ for the occasion. It consisted of church bells in different parts of the town, and horns and sirens of boats moored along the riversides. Walking towards the opening venue, these totally unpredictable sounds and their echos on both sides of the river created quite a unique atmosphere. Experiencing this alone made it worthwhile leaving the cosy warmth of home, and freezing out there for a couple of hours.

All in all, I had quite a surreal feeling most of the evening, almost like being in a sci-fi movie. The unexpected sounds in the dark, the masses of people and bright lights of the spectacle made me expect a flying saucer to land any minute, a bit like in ‘Close Encounters’. But no aliens appeared – at least to my knowledge.

Ho hum! I’m glad I went although the very best moment of the evening was getting into the hot sauna waiting for us at home, and defrosting our fingers and toes!


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.


November 2020

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