Works by Cris af Enehielm to Arbis
Two new public artworks have been installed at Arbis, the Swedish-language adult education centre in Helsinki. Cris af Enehielm’s oil paintings Life is One Long Party and Swing (2017) both celebrate the sense of joy and community that characterise the atmosphere at Arbis. The arrival of the paintings at Arbis on Dagmarinkatu will be celebrated on Monday, 6 November at 4 pm.
HAM commissioned the paintings for the same walls where Tove Jansson’s frescos of parties were previously situated. The frescos were too fragile to survive outside of a museum and were moved to HAM at Tennis Palace in 2015.
“I let myself be inspired by Tove’s party theme as a reminder of the past. Arbis is a place where people come to be inspired and to find a sense of togetherness and joy. If my paintings at Arbis could talk, I’m sure they would speak Swedish and sing atonally in a major key.”
– Cris af Enehielm
Cris af Enehielm (b. 1954) became known in the 1980s for her feminist and provocative art. She is a key figure in the history of performance art in Finland, and she works with equal facility as an actor, director, scriptwriter, dancer and costume and set designer. She says she drew inspiration for the Arbis paintings from the playful, naive and humorous style of her own early work.
HAM acquires artworks to be mounted in public spaces around the city: on its streets and in parks, as well as in schools, nursing homes and even day care centres. The new works commissioned for Arbis were initially on show at Cris af Enehielm’s exhibition at HAM in spring 2017.