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Antero Toikka: Himmeli, 1991. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Maija Toivanen


Artist Antero Toikka

Puotilan leikkiniitty, Puotila, Helsinki

The name ‘Himmeli’ refers to a straw ornament known to every Finn. The sculpture’s shape is derived from the basic module of this ornament. The red steel ‘Himmeli’ became a familiar sight in Helsinki in 1991-1992 when it travelled around the city, being relocated every month. In 1995 the City of Helsinki acquired the work for its collections, and it was placed in Puotila.

Antero Toikka (b. 1954) intended ‘Himmeli’ to be an installation. The original idea of a travelling sculpture was inspired by the realisation that in different surroundings and spaces, the sculpture would also function differently and look different. It affects the way a place is understood and it is itself affected by the elements around it; the space inside the sculpture and the space around it have equal significance.

‘Himmeli’ was welded from 240-millimetre T-beams. Its sides are 2,4 metres long and it is 3,2 metres high.

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