29 July 2012

The Art of Nature in Finland

Nature has a strong influence on Finnish life, including the country's art.

Jean Sibelius, Finland's famous composer, took much inspiration from nature, and a lot of the art from the country is based on environmental themes and images.

When I was in Turku at the Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova Museum, I saw an exhibit by Finnish artist Kaisu Koivisto. Koivisto uses many different types of art, including photographs, sculptures, and video. The exhibit, titled Loud Silence, included photographs of Soviet Cold War buildings and missile sites that are being overgrown by nature.

Another piece, called The Absorption of Pollution, is made of cow horns. The piece is moved to different places around the world, sits outside, and collects pollution from those areas. It changes as more pollution is collected.

Reintroducing the Species is a part of the exhibit that focuses on the idea of bringing cows back to Staten Island, where they could be found on farms several decades ago. Koivisto made cows out of blankets, placed them around the area, and took photographs of them.

Koivisto also keeps nature in mind when creating her art. She reuses (upcycles) old materials to make her pieces. To see and learn more about her work, check out her Web site.

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