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Tatu Tuominen’s Fairy Tale Palaces takes over daycare centre floors in Maunula

18.8.2020 9:42

Tatu Tuominen: Fairy Tale Palaces, 2020 (detail) / Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

A new piece of public art commissioned according to the percentage financing principle has been completed in Helsinki: visual artist Tatu Tuominen’s (born 1975) six-part Fairy Tale Palaces stretches across the floors of a daycare centre in Maunula. Located on three different floors of the building, the parts making up the work consist of floor paintings, ceramic tiles and solid wood parquet flooring. The facilities housing the work are used by Finnish-language Daycare Centre Korento and Swedish-language Daycare Centre Humlan. The daycare centre building was designed by AFKS / Architects Frondelius + Keppo + Salmenperä.

The patterns used in the different parts of the work borrow parts of floor decorations and ornaments found in historical buildings. Although the scale, materials and colours used differ from the original floors, the patterns have been created in a way that makes it possible to identify the references. The exceptional floor patterns imbue the daycare centre with some of the grandeur of a mosque courtyard, cathedral and imperial palace, for example. The work is based on the idea that there is something special in the design language of the historical patterns used in architecture and art: if not sacred, then at least noble and beautiful.

Tuominen’s intention is to cause a disturbance in the chronological time continuum and the hierarchies of power by transplanting impressive, artistically notable floor patterns from the past and different parts of the world to the everyday of this daycare centre in Helsinki.

“The idea of Fairy Tale Palaces is to communicate that equal and high-quality early childhood education for all children is important – a daycare centre is to Helsinki what Saint Mark’s Basilica was to the Republic of Venice,” says visual artist Tatu Tuominen about the idea behind the work.

The City of Helsinki adheres to the percentage financing principle, which means that approximately one per cent of the City’s new construction and renovation expenses are dedicated to the creation of new public art. In recent years, extensive construction efforts have made it possible to commission art for many public buildings in Jätkäsaari, Vallila, Kalasatama and Yliskylä, for example. HAM Helsinki Art Museum serves as an arts expert in these projects, and the works are added to HAM’s art collection.