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Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

22 Sep

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.

Taste of Helsinki 2013…

11 Jun

…is coming sooner than you think!

I missed the inaugural Taste last year. Bad timing and bad organisation. Not this year. We have tickets and I’ve been scouring the menu trying to create my ultimate night out. I think dessert will be ‘SALT-CARAMEL CAKE with pine fudge and rhubarb’ from Juuri, and starter is looking more and more like ‘ORGANIC BEEF CARPACCIO, beetroot aioli and juicy salad’ from Bistro O mat. Main course is causing me all sorts of difficulties – there are 12 really great options and while I can’t try them all, I think I should make a decision before I get there 🙂

So, what is Taste of Helsinki? I hear you ask. As per their own site it’s a gourmet food and beverage festival, a boutique picnic, a journey! Where else can you sample the best of Finnish Food and be entertained at the same time? Here is a really good guide to the Taste which as well as being informative, is also really easy to read!

As I type this, the clock is ticking. Only 1 day, 12 hours, 39 minutes and a few seconds to go! Actually for me it will be a little more as we will be heading to the dinner session on Thursday night. Either way, as I mentioned, it’s just around the corner!

The clock is still ticking

Now, if you are wondering why I insist on abbreviating the title to the Taste, well that stems from attending what is now called The Taste Festival in my home city of Hobart, Tasmania. It’s been running for 24 years already and is known just as the Taste. Old habits really do die hard.

In the meantime, I’ll be reporting back after I’ve enjoyed my own Taste of Helsinki!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

17 May

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!

Some lessons learnt….

9 May

I ran a little competition last month. Luckily three answers arrived, so each contestant will receive a prize. I’ll be in touch with each of you soon. Thank you very much for taking part!

THINKING THINGS THROUGH
However, I didn’t really think things through properly.
Next time I start a competition I will promote it! Everywhere. Relying on the strength of the words ‘competition’ in these early days obviously is poor planning.
Next time I start a competition I will ask others to help promote it. There is a time when doing EVERYTHING yourself is right and there is time when you should admit that a little help goes a long way 🙂
Next time I start a competition I will promote the prizes as well. I’ve just realised that the prizes were mentioned only once. What’s more there were no pictures of them anywhere.
Next time I start a competition it will NOT coincide with the beginning of the end of the school year and more classes and assignments than the rest of the year put together.
Did I mention that next time I will promote it better?

THE NEXT COMPETITION
will be in June. In the meantime, have a look at this picture:

Cultural Sauna / Kulttuurisauna

Cultural Sauna / Kulttuurisauna

It’s the eagerly awaited, recently opened Kulttuurisauna (Cultural Sauna). While it is open, there is a dearth of good information about it (Finnish or English). Sauna Flow had a very nice post last year and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 also had an interesting piece at the beginning of the project. I can tell you it is open Wednesdays through Sundays, and capacity is 40. I am very much looking forward to visiting and using the sauna for myself.

Here’s to 2013!

1 Jan

I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of my visitors, past and present!

2012 was Helsinki’s 200th birthday, and it was the year that Helsinki was the World Design Capital. For me personally, it was the year I met Tom from Yobot, only to mourn his loss a few short months later. I’m happy to say that Tom’s family are continuing the business and I’m glad to have been able to play a small part in this resurrection.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2013 will bring! For those of you looking forward to the summer, we know that the Tall Ships will be visiting Helsinki in July this year. Winter has its attractions though, and the very first event coming our way is Lux Helsinki. I’ve missed this event in previous years (this is the fifth time the event has been run) and plan on visiting as many of these installations as possible.

The first Restaurant Day of the year (Ravintola Päivä) will be held on February 17th and while I’ll be out-of-town for this winter foodie festival, I’ll certainly be around for the next one, scheduled for May 2013. This wonderfully unique event first originated in Helsinki in 2011, and has spread around the world. Amsterdam to Zürich, Denmark to Japan and a dozen places in between, there is almost sure to be a Restaurant Day coming to a location close to you!

There is an outdoor art exhibition held in Kivinokka every summer year. It’s a very special and unique exhibition that uses the environment as the stage. The event has been organised every year since 2003, so this year being the 10th anniversary I’m hoping there is something extra special on offer. Either way, I’ll be visiting and writing about Kivinokka in the coming months. Here is a little taste of what you can expect from the 2011 exhibition.

Sisu Exhibition
(Kivinokka 2011)

Looking forward to sharing Helsinki with you in 2013!

Helsinki Summer School

24 Aug

I’ve been a little absent lately, for good reason! I enrolled myself into a course at this year’s Helsinki Summer School. Yesterday the 23rd of August was our final exam and then wrap up session. Although I’d heard of the summer school previously, I’d never imagined that I would actually contemplate studying there, let alone enrolling! I actually read the course outline before I read the home page: research, advance degree students… my initial reaction was ‘hmm, I don’t think this is quite for me’. Yet, the course outline kept pulling me back to the page. ‘Service Marketing and Design’. In the end I bit the bullet, and sent a mail off. I explained that I wasn’t studying although I was establishing my own business and that I felt this course would be beneficial to this end. Feedback from both the university and the course co-ordinator was positive so it was on to the next step. Shortly after, my enrolment was confirmed!

Fast forward to August and now the mails have been arriving thick and fast: pre-course reading and assignment; social programme information; times, dates and places! Day one had no actual study, instead it was set aside for opening ceremonies and social events. Already at the reception I met a class mate, along with a heap of other students from around the world. Day two we met our class mates, co-ordinator and one key lecturer. We played the interview / introduction game and it turned out that we were a truly international group and coming from many different disciplines.

Our course comprised lectures, guest lectures, class presentations, field trips, field studies and the final exam. We also combined some social events of our own separate to the official programme. I led my first group tour from the school to the flea market Hietsu. As a tour leader I did get the group to the destination, although I was at the back of the group for more than half of the trip. Next time I’ll leave the bike at home 🙂

Our co-ordinator convinced Kunsthalle / Taidehalli to include us on the guest list for the opening of Tomás Saraceno’s installation 14 Billions (Working Title), which was also an opening night event for Helsinki Festival. I don’t mind spiders or their webs and this installation has plenty of the latter!

Inside the web! Tomás Saraceno at Taidehalli / Kunsthalle

One of my personal highlights of the Helsinki Festival is the Night of the Arts. There is always something for everybody, and this year’s grand event was the dominoes, winding through the city to Senate Square. At the time of writing the official site did not have any pictures or videos, however a quick search of YouTube has resulted with these to start: here, here and here. The first one shows the dominoes (and the eager crowd) up close, the second shows the finale and a good map of the domino route and the third one is Senate Square from a different angle.

Even though these studies are over, my ‘student career’ continues, Monday I’m off to an interview to undertake a course that will culminate in ‘Official Helsinki Guide’ status. Stay tuned!

Now I’ll take a brief moment to say a huge thank you to all the participants of the Helsinki Summer School 2012 Service Marketing & Design course. Best of luck in your future endeavours! It’s been a great three weeks and I hope that our paths cross again in the future 🙂

Tall Ships Race 2013

14 Jul

Today I’m posting from the island of Utö. There IS a connection to Helsinki. Read on and all will be revealed!

The last time I was on the island of Utö it was 26-27th July 2009. We came to see the Tall Ships leaving Turku (Utö) heading for Klaipéda (Lithuania). If you have never seen ‘Tall Ships’ in action I recommend that you track down some footage. Youtube has an abundance! These ships are truly magnificent 🙂

The Talls Ships Race is an annual event for Tall Ships. Every fourth year the race is conducted in Baltic Waters and it will be Helsinki’s turn in 2013. Helsinki will be the finishing point for the first leg of the race from Århus (Denmark) to Helsinki.

So from 17 – 20 July 2013 the Tall Ships will be in Helsinki. As soon as I have more information I’ll be sharing it with you. Guaranteed there will be something to share closer to the date!

Meanwhile if you are ever on Utö, please take advantage of the island hospitality offered by Hanna’s Horisont. Here is one link which includes plenty of Utö information. You can also find her on Facebook.