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Fairy Tale Palaces

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The six-part public art commission Fairy Tale Palaces stretches across the floors of a daycare centre in Maunula, Helsinki. Located on three different floors of the building, the parts making up the work consist of floor paintings, ceramic tiles and solid wood parquet flooring. The facilities housing the work are used by Finnish-language Daycare Centre Korento and Swedish-language Daycare Centre Humlan. The daycare centre building was designed by AFKS / Architects Frondelius + Keppo + Salmenperä.

The patterns used in the different parts of the work borrow parts of floor decorations and ornaments found in historical buildings. Although the scale, materials and colours used differ from the original floors, the patterns have been created in a way that makes it possible to identify the references. The exceptional floor patterns imbue the daycare centre with some of the grandeur of a mosque courtyard, cathedral and imperial palace, for example. The work is based on the idea that there is something special in the design language of the historical patterns used in architecture and art: if not sacred, then at least noble and beautiful.

The intention of the artist is to cause a disturbance in the chronological time continuum and the hierarchies of power by transplanting impressive, artistically notable floor patterns from the past and different parts of the world to the everyday of this daycare centre in Helsinki.

“The idea of Fairy Tale Palaces is to communicate that equal and high-quality early childhood education for all children is important – a daycare centre is to Helsinki what Saint Mark’s Basilica was to the Republic of Venice,” says visual artist Tatu Tuominen about the idea behind the work.

Fairy Tale Palace belongs to the collections of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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Light Signal from the Shore

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Temporary two-part public artwork examined the local history of Helsinki’s Kalasatama and adjacent areas from the point of view of seafaring and everyday life on the outskirts of town. The first part of the work was a light work that could be seen at the top windows of housing company Kalasataman Fiskari by those walking around in the Sompasaari canal area. The programmed light work lighted up every twenty minutes in the evenings between 7 and 10 pm until the end of February 2020.

The second part of the work consisted of the artist distributing a reprint of  Sörkan rysäkeisarit – kalastajia, ajureita ja salakuljettajia (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2013) non-fiction book by Eero Haapanen to the new flats completed in Sompasaari during the temporary light work. The book discusses the eventful life of the Karlsson fishing family in Vanhankaupunginlahti bay and elsewhere in Helsinki from the late 19th century to the 1960s. The work covers the likes of local moonshine smuggling during the prohibition and the criminal lifestyles born around it. The book also reveals how Helsinki and the everyday lives of its residents have changed during the past hundred years.

Light Signal from the Shore was a temporary work by its nature and it belongs to the collections of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum.