Mirja Marsch: Stitches, Sequins and Fragments *

Friday morning (September 27th)  I was heading towards my Finnish class ** when the latest exhibition to be held at Malmitalo caught my eye. The gallery is situated to the left as you enter the main entrance and right at the foot of the stairs that lead to the second floor classroom area. Impossible to miss if you need to go upstairs.

The exhibitions generally run three to four weeks and feature different art-forms – photography, painting, textiles, mixed media etc. I popped my head in as the space had been empty earlier in the week and I wanted to see what the new exhibition was all about. Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw the first picture (actually the third one in the slide show below). Buttons, paint, sequins and a subject who was just oozing so much attitude that I wanted to reach out and touch her. I snapped a quick picture thinking I would send it to my mum or my sister – they are both up to their elbows in creative ventures. Quilts, beading, scarves and mixed media, you name it, they are creating it.

Then I looked around, and immediately gasped (with joy!). All around the room were similar pieces of art. So, camera in hand (phone really) I scooted around the gallery and snapped a quick picture of everything on display. Here is the gallery, along with the names, mostly Finnish with some English. My pictures really don’t do the work justice.

If you are in Helsinki in the very near future, I highly recommend that you get out to Malmi (connections are at the end of this post) and have a look at the exhibition. I grabbed a postcard and the bio of Mirja Marsch and read with interest that she is a member of the Finnish Felting Association. I did a felting course last year, and while my output was limited, I quite enjoyed the process of making felt!

The exhibition runs 26.9.2013 – 19.10.2013 in the Malmitalo Gallery. I will definitely share more about Malmitalo in the future. There is always something interesting there! Malmitalo is a multipurpose building in Malmi, close to the railway station and the bus terminal.

Getting there: P,I,N,K (yes Pink) trains from Helsinki to Malmi station (Note the trains themselves are not pink!). Bus 69, 70, 70T, 73, 73B, 73N, 76A, 76B, 77A, 78, 79, 512, 519, 520, 522 and 522K.

* The original title of this exhibition is Mirja Marsch Pistoja, Paljetteja ja Sirpaleita
** I’m studying Finnish at the North Eastern campus of Helsinki’s Finnish Adult Education School. The campus is just one part of Malmitalo.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

This week’s photo challenge raises that rare dilemma: which pictures to choose?! I actually hit the pavements early yesterday morning and collected some very nice paving and cobblestone pictures. Then I remembered our visit to Galerie Anhava earlier in the summer. The artist in question was Pe Lang and the exhibition name was Moving Objects. The Engineer suggested that we visit this, and as soon as we entered the space I could see why! Lots of lines and patterns, moving, creating and recreating continually.

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All the items were constructed from electrical components, paper, magnets, cord and copper wire. No 502-519 was my favourite. It was so mesmerising, I could have watched the magnets floating up and down for hours. The Engineer was very taken with No 809, and even went so far as to find out how much it was. Needless to say, it was just a little out of our reach. Still, no harm in dreaming 🙂

Galerie Anhava is very centrally located and can be found here:

For information on current exhibitions and opening times,  visit Galerie Anhava.

For more interpretations of Lines to Patterns check out the comments on the weekly photo challenge post.

Disclosure note: The first time I visited Galerie Anhava was in 2009, for an exhibition called Contemporary Now. One of the exhibitors at that show (Shoji Kato) is a good friend of my mother-in-law. It’s a really nice cool spot to drop in to see the work of up and coming artists.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be on the water and visiting one of Helsinki’s pearls: Kaunissaari (Beauty or Beautiful Island). It’s a very interesting island, almost in the open sea, one side covered with thick forest and the opposite side featuring wind-swept rocks. Although it’s not a big island, 2 km long and about 800 metres wide, it takes a good couple of hours to walk around and savour the nature. I took the camera along with the intent to capture any pattern that caught my eye: some are man-made, some courtesy of mother nature. Unfortunately the battery was empty before my walk was finished, so I had to fall back on plan B, my phone!

Pine-cone Starfish
Pine-cone Starfish

I didn’t get very far before sight this was on the ground in front of me. The longer I looked at it, the more convinced I was that it was starfish that had been pulled apart.

As we made our way along the path it was very quiet. The ‘summer’ season has just started and there weren’t so many people on the island. The guest harbour was emptying as everyone started heading back to their home port.

Birch Forest
Birch Forest

There is something very haunting about a birch forest that has no leaves. Although it won’t be long and this forest will have its green cover on.

Valkovuokko
Valkovuokko

The forest floor close to the path was covered with this lovely valkovuokko (wood anemone) and when I stooped over taking this particular picture a couple passing by made a comment joking that I should hurry as there weren’t many around 🙂

 The island has plenty of facilities for day visitors and campers alike. There’s a dog park, saunas to rent, a very cute little cafe, oversized board games and a meandering nature path. Before we got to the nature path there was something we had to take care of though! Coffee and pulla, the staples of Finnish social life.

Nautical Theme
Nautical Theme

Nothing says nautical quite like red, blue and sails. This was inside the cafe looking back to the large sheltering umbrella’s on the terrace. While I was fluffing around with the camera a customer came in to charge his phone. That’s one thing to remember, there’s no electricity service. Strictly candles, grills and generators.

Oversized Chess Pieces
Over-sized Chess Pieces

Remember the over-sized board games? You weren’t sure exactly what I meant were you? If chess is not your thing also on offer are darts, volley ball and the age-old favourite of chilling in a hammock with a good book!

Wood Stack Art
Wood Stack Art

There is an art to stacking wood. It takes an extra special talent to make your wood-stack look like… an Angry Bird perhaps!

Weathered wood
Weathered wood

If you are interested to visit Kaunissaari, you can catch a ferry from Vuosaari. The journey takes approximately one hour each way. Alternatively, if you have access to a boat of your own, head to the sheltered guest harbour at the end of the island.

I’ll leave you with this detail of a cabin up close.

By the way, please let me know what you think of the pictures all the way down the left and the text on the right. I thought I’d try something new and now it feels like it doesn’t quite work. I might just have to come back and do some editing later.

So if you want to see other entries from this week’s challenge, head over to here and follow the ping-backs!