Ketinsaari, Ounas River, Köngäs, Finland
Fertile banks of the river Ounas were among the key reasons why Köngäs, my home village, was built at this location. Hay for cows was harvested over long distances along the river banks. Haymaking shaped the river landscape and the villager's relation to it.
Cut and dried, hay had to be protected from rain and reindeers in small log-build barns. The barns and the meadows around the village formed a complex of place-related stories. Some barns,150-180 years of age, still stand at the river banks, now shaded by willows and birches. Inside the barns, the walls are full of haymakers writings, ‘diary notes’, carved with knife or marked by pencil.
During a week in late April each early morning I made a trip by snow scooter to some of these forgotten barns. I brought with me a saw and photographs of the elder generations frozen inside ice blocks. I worked in front of the barns for a while. I measured the amount of hardened snow and the landscape with my saw and using my own body and strengths. The people who ones worked there were with me, and I read out their diaries form the hay barns wall.
Installation with snow, ice and photographs
Jokelanvuoma and Rouravuoma, Kittilä, Finland
In my youth, as a part of the ecoculture of the village, I was brought up us a hunter. Hunting was a task during a short period in the autumn, for rest of the year, it was a way to follow the landscape and its inhabitants. In the spring, conversation with villagers easily turns to capercailzie, as it is the most valuable game bird, and a symbol of wild and untouched forest - all is well in the forest if you meet capercailzies. Today, many of places where capercailzies used to gather in spring for their estrus period are silent since heavy wood harvesting has destroyed the old forest.
Couple of mornings I went to the forest looking for the capercailzies living places. I had my grandchildren with me, and photographs of my ancestors frozen in ice blocks. I listened the rumble of Europe’s biggest gold mine, the noise mixed with the calls of migratory birds, cranes and swans. The smoke from the mine merged with the clouds. Piece by piece, the mining company occupies the landscape and the hunting forest of the villagers. I made an installation with snow, old photographs, and capercailzies’ tails I hunted in the autumns before.
Installation with snow, photographs and capercailzies’ tailsInstallation with snow, photographs and capercailzies’ tails
In the Landscape with Capercailzies