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Pirkko Nukari: Kurki on laskeutunut / The Crane Has Landed, 2003. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Hanna Kukorelli

Kurki on laskeutunut / The Crane Has Landed

Artist Pirkko Nukari

Ratsaspuisto, Ruskeasuo, Helsinki

The Helsinki City Art Museum commissioned a work from the sculptor Pirkko Nukari (b. 1943) for the new residential park that was refurbished in the Ruskeasuo housing district between Mannerheimintie and the Central Park.

Pirkko Nukari is known above all for her sculptures of birds. She chose the crane for the new park, because swamps are a favourite habitat of cranes. The name of the district, Ruskeasuo (‘brown swamp’) suggests that the area may have been a favourite place for cranes before it was developed. The crane also happens to be the faunal emblem of the Ruskeasuo Society founded in the 1950s, even though the artist was not aware of the fact when she began her work.

When Nukari was sketching the work, she says she also thought about the protective wings over the portals in the Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt, and about the symbolism of wings in general. In the artist’s own words: “The crane is a denizen of swamps, it has a beautiful, grand plasticity, an imposing presence when it opens its wings.”

The crane in the sculpture has spread its wings as if protecting the district and its plants, animals and people. At its feet, in the pedestal representing the ground, you can make out a feather that has fallen on the ground, swamp plants, and the artist’s footprint.

The Crane Has Landed was unveiled in the presence of the artist and invited guests in the refurbished Ratsaspuisto park on 11 September 2003. The unveiling address was given by Deputy Mayor I. C. Björklund. The work belongs to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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