Streets & Paths is a discussion between two environments that are often seen as opposites. The exhibition is curated by art education students in University of Lapland.
Finnish people wander on both the city streets and the forest paths. Many familiar streets and paths we walk stay in our memories throughout life. The art collection of Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation includes artworks that depict environments from both city and nature.Those environments are different in many ways even if they are not exclusionary of each other. The exhibition brings a drop of mystique to the city surroundings so familiar to us.
When you are in a forest, it often feels like the forest is watching you. The forest conceals things from us. Inari Krohn’s etching Silmät (1989) resembles this idea. The eyes are watching their environment from behind the tree branches.
The forest is a magical place in Finnish folklore. Everything in the forest was believed to be governed by their own sprite or spirit. Animals of the forest were worshipped, especially the bear. Kim Simonsson’s Sotilas II and Sotilas III (2009) resemble children wearing animal skins. Something in these ceramic statues bring to mind the myths and beliefs that were prevalent in Finland before Christianity settled here.
In Elina Luukkanen’s Museokatu (1997) a bird is flying dangerously close to the windows of a city building. This piece can be seen as a reminder of nature’s constant struggle of trying to adapt to the man made changes in the environment. Harmony, and the lack of it has a significant impact on both nature and the urban environment.
For a moment you could mistake Minna Sjöholm’s Pysäkki II (2017) to be a picturesque photograph of a familiar sight: a bus stop on a drizzly night. Pysäkki II is however a soft and quite realistic oil painting. The expectant atmosphere in the painting brings to mind thoughts of loneliness, homecoming and individuality in the commotion of society.
Artists of the exhibition: Petri Ala-Maunus, Jasmin Anoschkin, HC Berg, Tuomo Blomqvist, Kari Cavén, Jiri Geller, Ilmari Gryta, Veikko Hirvimäki, Jari Huhta, Teija Immonen, Pekka Kauhanen, Inari Krohn, Janne Laine, Elina Luukanen, Riitta Päiväläinen, Ari Saarto, Kim Simonsson, Minna Sjöholm, Per Stenius, Juha Tammenpää, Tatu Tuominen, Kristiina Uusitalo, Sam Vanni and Pekka Vesterinen.