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Three new public works of art will delight daycare and school children in Helsinki


Hanna Råst: Ajanlasku/Tideräkning/Chronology, 2022. © HAM/Sonja Hyytiäinen

Hanna Råst has created an artwork for the new Haga primary school, Nayab Ikram has made work for Puotila primary school’s new building, and Jussi Juurinen has created a set of artworks for Verkkosaari daycare.

Different layers of history and time come together in Hanna Råst’s collage work, Chronology, which has been integrated into the awning of Pohjois-Haaga primary school. The work weaves together childhood memories with different eras of history and untold events. Råst has gathered photographs and drawings from archives and created a collage that extends to different periods of history. The artist hopes that the work will kindle students’ curiosity and interest in history, time, and geology.

The collage has been installed under the school building’s awning and can only be seen when stood under it. The idea of positioning the work out of direct sight is connected to the notion of discovery and the uncovering of new knowledge that shapes our historical narratives. This work expands on themes Råst has addressed in her broader artistic practice.

Nayab Ikram: Symbiosis, 2022. © HAM/Sonja Hyytiäinen

A series of photographs titled Symbiosis by photographer and artist Nayab Ikram were commissioned for Puotila primary school’s new building. Seven photographs feature hands merging with materials to form a symbiotic relationship in the spirit of play and coexistence. According to the artist, the hands refer to connection and longing for it, caring and nurturing. The work invites viewers to consider coexistence, the concept of play, the agencies created within play, and the roles and rules involved in play. Part of the work is currently on view in HAM’s Shared Space exhibition. Originally from Åland, Nayab Ikram approaches the concepts of cultural identity and the formation of identities through photography, video, and installation.

Jussi Juurinen: Same but Different, 2023. © HAM/Kirsi Halkola

Artist Jussi Juurinen’s work Same but Different has been completed for the newly opened Verkkosaari daycare. The three-part work takes over the three lightwells of the daycare, each part having its own colour scheme and rhythm of lines. As the sunlight moves across the surface of the work, the appearance of three-dimensional and multicoloured birch panels and slat modules seems to change.

Repetition and seriality are characteristic of Juurinen’s art. With Same but Different, instead of focusing on printmaking, Juurinen wanted to approach his wooden materials differently and to blur the difference between the printing plate and the print made from it. The print-like panels form a sequence of three large picture planes that resemble wallpaper or textiles.

The funding of the artworks has been made possible by the Percent for Art principle that the city of Helsinki adheres to. This means that a part of the budget of the city’s construction or renovation projects is set aside for the implementation of new public art. The steady construction rate in recent years has made it possible to commission art for several public buildings and outdoor spaces in different parts of Helsinki. HAM Helsinki Art Museum acts as an art expert in art projects, and the works are accessioned to the City of Helsinki’s art collection managed by HAM Helsinki Art Museum.