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Marja Kanervo: Suomenlinna prisoners remembrance memorial, 2004. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Suomenlinna prisoners remembrance memorial

Artist Marja Kanervo

Iso Mustasaari, Suomenlinna, Helsinki

The environmental art work “Suomenlinna prisoners remembrance memorial” was created by the Finnish artist Marja Kanervo. It’s central elements consist of natural rock, moss, stones and flowing water. Water flows softly down the surface of the rock which bears an inscription in reference to the dramatic happenings which took place on Suomenlinna during the years 1918-1919.

Suomenlinna was a prisoner camp for about one year in the early times of Finland’s independence, from between 14.04.1918 -14.03.1919. Approximately 1500 of the over 8000 prisoners died primarily of malnutrition. Those perished were brought to be buried on Santahamina where, in 1949, a memorial was erected to the victims of The Reds executions.

Relatives of the prisoners who had suffered or perished were initiators of the Suomenlinna remembrance memorial project. Marja Kanervo, the artist, is a pioneer crafts person in Finland and is internationally well-known. The landscape architect, Saara Pyykkö, acted as consultant for the artist in the planning the work.

The environmental work was inaugurated on the North Shore located on Iso Mustasaari, Suomenlinna, on 28.9.2004.

The work doesn’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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