Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helsinki Time

It's been quite a while since I have posted here, partly because of my current travels. Indeed, I am posting this from Helsinki, Finland, and I am choosing this content from here because this city is a surprising mecca for art. 

For the week-plus that I have been here, I have been an art student...visiting at least a dozen museums and exhibits so far— design, art, photography, architecture — as well as visiting a number of buildings — a public pool, architects’ residences, churches, chapels, and more — because of their stature in the design world. Three things about the art and museums here:

......The culture supports art so much more seriously than does the U.S. (or at least than California). This is evidenced by the ubiquitousness of it, the number of museums, the depth of museum collections and very good physical state of the museum facilities, the free maps and publications promoting art and museums, and the general familiarity everyone has with all of the museums.

.......Women are represented in the arts here way more than at home — and not just current art and living artists, but historical painters. It is clear women have been respected as artists for centuries here— and something one doesn’t see much of in the U.S. or in most European art collection. As a woman artist, I cannot tell you how refreshing this is.
......Museum exhibits have a broad range of media presentations, much more than we see at home. It’s not just work hanging on a wall or standing on a pedestal, but displays are an imaginative use of multimedia, video, 2-D, vitrines and imaginative cases, ceiling-mounted, sound-inclusive, and often with good instructional text panels nearby to learn from (but often as not without much info and sometimes nothing in English). You name it. It’s really good presentation, and surely speaks to more visitors than those who like the old-style, stuffy display methods.

If you ever consider going to Helsinki and enjoy looking at art, design and architecture, stop considering and just go. It's a treat.

Notes to these images: Finland seems to be a place of textures more than anything else. One shot is of the trees still in winter dress and the other of a slag brick that was used for construction a century ago and more, in the small village of Fiskars where the famous foundry was situated. The first is my sweet husband walking down a lane in the village. None of this represents Finnish art, just my own visual expressions of being here.

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At 9:17 AM , Blogger Megan said...

Absolutely incredible shot of the man on the road, and the farm house. Great eye, garden poet!

Btw, Lynne adores her funvelopes! I kept forgetting to give them to her, but today, the warmest most beautiful day of the year, was a great day to remember.

At 12:58 PM , Anonymous StarrDavis said...

Hey Nancy,
Thank you for a wonderful EYE into Finland. I'm inspired to see the museums, gardens, etc! Starr

At 9:30 AM , Anonymous jerry young said...

Thank you for insight into Finland, its nature and its art experience. Jerry


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