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New public sculpture in Kalasatama

18.5.2018 8:53

Riikka Puronen: Harppi ja tähdet, 2018 © HAM / kuva: Maija Toivanen
Riikka Puronen: Harppi ja tähdet, 2018 © HAM / kuva: Maija Toivanen

A new public sculpture will be unveiled in Kalasatama. Sculptor Riikka Puronen‘s seven-metre-tall Compass and Stars will be landmark in the Toukola Waterfront Park located between the Kyläsaarenkuja and Roomankatu streets and the sea.

Compass and Stars will be unveiled on Thursday, 24 May 2018, at 16:00. The public unveiling will be done by HAM director Maija Tanninen-Mattila, with the artist in attendance. The unveiling is organised in cooperation with the neighbourhood association Artova, the Arabian Laulu choir, and the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak). You are warmly welcome to attend the event!

According to Puronen, two different worldviews meet in her piece: the compass represents a mathematical view of the world where things can be measured and verified, while the two objects balancing on the central axis of the compass are containers for something mystical and unnameable. The location also brings together different elements of life and urban structure: it is set in a recreational area by the sea, surrounded by blocks of flats and several schools and universities.

Puronen is known for her original visual style and skilled juxtaposition of materials. Compass and Stars is made from coloured and gilded steel and aluminium using electrochemical methods of metalworking. The large size of the sculpture was inspired by the surrounding open park area.

Riikka Puronen’s (b. 1968 in Loviisa) commissioned works can be seen in several locations in Helsinki, including inside an office building owned by Senate Properties and outside the Myllypuro metro station. The sculpture in Myllypuro, Sirena’s Strings (2004), is in the public scuplture collection of HAM Helsinki Art Museum. In addition to her artistic work, Puronen taught sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki from 2007 to 2017.

Compass and Stars was commissioned by the Executive Office of the City of Helsinki. It is the fourth public work of art to be installed under the environmental art project for the new Kalasatama district. The project aims to improve the amenity of the area and to promote the formation of its local identity. Artworks in the project, which are funded with fees paid by developers, are dimensioned according to built floor area. Helsinki Art Museum HAM serves as the art expert in the project.