New public art displayed in Helsinki schools and daycare


Six new works of art, implemented according to the Percent for Art principle, were made in the city of Helsinki, in various facilities used by children and young people. Five school buildings now feature new works by Bell Inka, Karoliina Hellberg, Pertti Kukkonen, Eeva-Leena Eklund and Markus Rissanen. A new nursery also houses a playroom. Elina Auto.

The kinetic installation Spin by Inka Bell is located in the refurbished facilities of Pakila Comprehensive School and Youth Center. The installation is 2.5 meters high and 1.9 meters wide and covers the dining room wall with cylinder-shaped pieces that can be rotated. The cylinders are painted with two shaded colors: one side is gradient white and the other is gradient blue. The visuals of the installation change as the cylinders are rotated, as their colors blend into each other. The kinetic installation invites the public to test and observe how even a small movement can change its appearance. The rotation can produce a random pattern or a calmly monochromatic surface, that is, a single color. Visual artist Inka Bell works primarily in the expanded field of printmaking. In her art, Bell explores the relationship between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional, through matter, color, surface and repetition.

The renovated Kallio General Upper Secondary School houses a series of four paintings by Karoliina Hellberg, a former student of the school. The series of paintings is called Lilacs, anemones and wind, and it is divided into two pairs located in the staircase of the building. The pairs of paintings are placed opposite each other, like a reflection, and they show the same situation as if from two different angles. At the second level, the pair Lilac, Anemones and Wind: Anemones shows the spatial imagery and highly detailed interiors for which Hellberg’s works are known. The impression of abundance is created by balustrades, pillars, decorative furniture and ornate carpets, as well as plants and flowers. At the third level, the couple Lilac, Anemones and Wind: Lilac draws the viewer into a recurring theme in Hellberg’s paintings: nocturnal gardens and vegetation. The facade of the same building displays the sculpture installation Play ball by Pertti Kukkonen. The installation consists of steel globes of different colors, which cast shadows on the wall. However, the shadows do not follow the logic of a single direction of light. Kukkonen specializes in the use of concrete in his art and he has created several works of public art in Finland.

Eeva-Leena Eklund’s collection of Handwriting works extends to the staircase of Lauttasaari Primary School and Institute of Music. The vast spatial installation consists of murals and separate works painted on metal panels. The layout is very liberal, which is typical of Eklund: the paintings overlap in some parts and side by side in others, creating denser, looser scenes. Murals painted directly onto wall surfaces show the grid and lined papers often seen in school; grids and lines were painted freehand. On the lines there are sentences and words written in different types of cursive and capital letters. The artist collected the texts from the students of the school. True to Eklund’s style, the artwork painted on the panels has strong, vibrant colors and recurring patterns, such as flowers, animals, and abstract fabric patterns.

The mystery of the octopus that often sneezes by Markus Rissanen can be seen on the facade of the Myllypuro Comprehensive School extension. The installation consists of ceramic tiles and is based on the mathematical/logical pattern Hex Rosa developed by Rissanen. The pattern consists of a repeating hexagon divided into rhombuses, i.e. diamond-shaped. By varying the shapes of the diamonds and the shades of brown and black, Rissanen has constructed a continuous rose pattern. According to the artist himself, the ceramic installation can be seen as splashes of ink or a plunging black comet from which sparks shoot, among other interpretations. The first association is where the facility gets its name. Rissanen’s work mainly consists of paintings through which he investigates abstract information patterns and sign systems used in science. Rissanen delved into the mysteries of geometry in his doctoral thesis in which he solved a well-known mathematical problem related to rotationally symmetric tiles.

The facade of Isoniitty day care center in Kumpula displays a colorful piece by Elina Autio. Installation rainbow pen consists of striped aluminum pipes of different lengths, placed side by side, which form an island-like surface on the wall. The premise of the layout is the rhythm of coloring and cursive writing, which can be random and a bit clunky, but still determined at the same time. The piece refers to lines drawn with a multicolored pen where the colors change as you draw. The typical vertical lines of the Isoniitty daycare building are repeated in the structure and colors of the installation.

Elina Autio graduated in Visual Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts at Helsinki University of the Arts. She also studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Autio’s art brings together observations of color and everyday building materials in a unique way. In addition to Helsinki, she has also created public art for the cities of Tampere and Espoo.

The City of Helsinki adheres to the percentage for art principle, which means that approximately 1% of the city’s construction and renovation expenditure is devoted to the creation of new public art. In recent years, major construction efforts have resulted in the commissioning of artwork for many public buildings in Vuosaari, Kalasatama, Konala and Jakomäki, among other areas of Helsinki. The HAM Helsinki Art Museum serves as the artistic expert in these projects, and the works are added to the Helsinki City Art Collection managed by HAM.

excluding tax

Source: City of Helsinki, HAM


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