Four-Metre Bronze Sculpture by Maria Stereo Installed in Vallila
Funded within the Percent for Art programme, the new public artwork is a large relief that takes its inspiration from the cuckoo clock. Artist Maria Stereo’s four-metre bronze sculpture Timeless will be installed in the courtyard of the city’s Adult Education Institute on Teollisuuskatu in Vallila on Tuesday, 4 June 2019.
There are no hands on the face of the decorative clock, and the cuckoo’s door remains closed. Just as the title implies, the work is timeless: the clockface does not indicate the hour. Artist Maria Stereo says that timelessness gives viewers a chance to relax. You don’t always have to know what the time it is.
“I’ve always been fascinated by domestic kitsch objects and decorations. When I began to explore online images of cuckoo clocks, I found myself in a fantastic world of the most diverse carpentry skills. The fascination carried me into creating a series of clocks using all kinds of mixed media. The works in the series represented autobiographical points in time for me, as it were. One of the clocks was cast in type metal, and that piece eventually triggered the idea for Timeless,” the artist says.
Stereo, who is known for an ornamental, rich visual style and innovative use of recycled materials, has created a bronze this time. She wanted to use a durable and therefore timeless material for the piece.
Last September, a work by artist Anssi Kasitonni was installed in the same site. Similarly produced under the Percent for Art programme, the work, entitled Epifania de Liberace, is a glittering grand piano that seems to be descending from the ceiling among a rain of glitter.
Maria Stereo (b. 1979 in Rauma) has had solo exhibitions in Gallery Huuto in Helsinki and Mältinranta in Tampere. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions. Alongside her work as a visual artist, Stereo also makes music with her band Maria ja Marsilaiset (‘Maria and the Martians’). Anssi Kasitonni (b. 1978 in Vilppula) works with sculpture, video and music, combining popular culture imageries with a DIY attitude. Stereo and Kasitonni live and work in Sahalahti, Kangasala.
The City of Helsinki follows the Percent for Art principle under which roughly one percent of the cost of the construction of new properties or the renovation of old ones is earmarked for public art. The recent boost in construction in the city has made it possible to commission art for a number of public buildings in the districts of Kalasatama, Pihlajamäki, Töölönlahti, Maunula and elsewhere. Helsinki Art Museum HAM serves as the art expert in these projects, and the works are accessioned to the art collection of HAM.