New public art works for premises intended for children and youth
Three new public works of art created with the help of the percentage financing principle were completed in 2020 for spaces used by children and young people of Helsinki. Susanne Gottberg’s work Pielisjärvi Revisited was exhibited at the renovated Ressu Upper Secondary School in Kamppi. In Malminkartano, Konsta Ojala’s eight-part work New Horizons was completed in the Youth Centre facilities, and Kati Immonen’s Kaveripiknik was exhibited in Lasten Kartano daycare centre.
Susanne Gottberg’s work Pielisjärvi Revisited is located in the lobby leading to the Ressu Upper Secondary School’s ballroom. The painting is an adaptation of Eero Järnefelt’s oil painting Syysmaisema Pielisjärveltä (Autumn Landscape of Lake Pielisjärvi) from 1899. The idea for Gottberg’s Pielisjärvi Revisited work was based on the small copy of Järnefelt’s painting that is also exhibited in the lobby. With her own adaptation, Gottberg wanted to create dialogue between these two works presented in the space.
Konsta Ojala’s work was named after a Nasa space probe called New Horizons, which was sent to explore the surface of Pluto in 2006. The strong toned ensemble dominating the living room wall of Malminkartano Youth Centre is a layered piece based on photographs taken by the probe and airbrush painted sections. The views, loosely inspired by the terrain of Pluto, were created with a screen printing technique. They feature a rich play on light and shadow, glowing in shades of orange, violet and okra and in reddish and bluish tones. The work’s colours are created randomly, leaning on their different levels of transparency and the accuracy of the printing process; a change of just a few millimetres will completely transform the end result. The works could be seen as a metaphor for life, consisting of encounters between random occurrences and systematic plans.
Kaveripiknik by Kati Immonen is two floors tall and spreads over the canteen wall of Lasten Kartano daycare centre. In this colourful piece, animals familiar from many fairy tales, such as a squirrel, a rabbit, a poodle and a snail, are travelling towards an abundant picnic spread, featuring pastries decorated with sweets, wild strawberries, skewers filled with treats, various fruit, and pea pods. The work reaches up like spiral, turning into a lush vine where colourful birds sit perched among the leaves. The work was created using oil paints on birch plywood cut to shape.
The City of Helsinki adheres to the Percent for Art 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 Kalasatama, Jakomäki, Maunula and Jätkäsaari, among other Helsinki areas. HAM Helsinki Art Museum serves as an arts expert in these projects, and the works are added to HAM’s art collection.