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Villu Jaanisoo: Kuukkeli / Siberian Jay, 2016. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © HAM / Hanna Kukorelli

Siberian Jay

Artist Villu Jaanisoo

Junonkatu 2, Helsinki

Siberian Jay, A new work by sculptor Villu Jaanisoo, is located in the Kalasatama residential district. The sculpture stands six metres tall and is located in a prominent site at the corner of Junonkatu and Leonkatu streets. The large, colourful bird is an arresting sight that creates a magical mood around itself.

The work is inspired by the special characteristics ascribed to the Siberian jay in Finnish folklore. Also known as the `soul bird’, the Siberian jay was regarded as a friend and guardian of people in the forest. The bird, or just catching sight of it, was ascribed a variety of profound meanings. Now the Siberian jay has alighted in Kalasatama.

Villu Jaanisoo is best known for his large sculptures and a masterful use of different materials. He has constructed the exterior of the Siberian Jay of coloured recycled plastic, which is particularly well suited for rendering the grey and brown tones of the bird’s plumage. The armature, beak and feet of the bird are made of stainless steel.

Siberian Jay was commissioned by the Executive Office of the City of Helsinki. It is the second public work of art to be installed under the environmental art project for the new Kalasatama district. The project aims to improve the amenity of the area and to promote the formation of its local identity. Artworks in the project, which are funded with fees paid by developers, are dimensioned according to built floor area. Helsinki Art Museum HAM serves as the art expert in the project.

Villu Jaanisoo (b. 1963, Tallinn) is one of the most prominent sculptors in Finland. He has created several works of public art in Finland and abroad. Jaanisoo is Professor of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. His work resides in the collections of several major art museums. Siberian Jay is Jaanisoo’s second permanent public work in Helsinki.

The work belongs to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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