LuovaLumot community art project included over 150 different participants from the Finnish Lapland. The art projects were realized in Tornio, Finland and Haparanda, Sweden demolition art houses in the Summer of 2023. I was the artist in charge of the LuovaLumot project artwork planning and concepts as well as the realization of the artworks. I had an amazing team of over 70 different people working with me to make the project happen. In just three weeks we built the whole apartment and classroom exhibition works in two countries.
The three-bedroom apartment in Röyttantie 4 A-stair was an artwork realized within the framework of the LuovaLumot ESR project. The sister piece of the artwork reflecting all the content could be found in a classroom of Tornedals school in Haparanda, Sweden on the other side of the border. A total of more than 150 people participated in the realization of the community artwork. The project involved specifically people with an immigration background, young people in rehabilitation, and people with special needs. The materials used for the works were mainly recycled materials and waste goods.
Some media coverage of the project:
I WAS HERE
Street art is a form of visual art created in public spaces, often without permission. Street art – and especially tags (repeatedly written/(spray)painted artist name, stylized autograph) – are often used as a means of self-expression, but they can also be political, humorous or simply decorative. Some artists use street art as a way to challenge social norms and provoke thoughts about social issues. We also asked exhibition visitors to leave their own sign in the room. The boat in the room sailed there from the direction of Sweden and it referred both to the border traffic between Finland and Sweden as well as to the global refugee situation, which also resulted in many of the participants of the LuovaLumot project to end up in Tornio-Haparanda.
The portraits processed with raster effects and made using the paste-up technique showed almost all the people involved in the project. Paste-up art has its roots in the street art movement of the 1960s and 70s, where artists created public works of art using this technique. The process requires great precision and attention to detail, as each piece must be carefully cut and placed just right to achieve the desired effect. The unique texture and depth of paste-ups set them apart from other forms of portraiture.
The all-white installation in the kitchen of the apartment was a maximally reduced interpretation of a missed coffee moment, which contained layered references to the everyday life of a border town. Every detail of the arrangement has been carefully curated for the space and everything has a purpose. The lack of color allows the structure and shape of each object to shine, making the space a cohesive and harmonious experience. However, pure white objects and furniture also create a blank canvas for the imagination. Old food packaging has been used as a graphic element of the wallpaper.
The apartment's balcony was an urban oasis, a greenhouse that invited you to breathe fresh air and relax. An environmental artwork made of recycled and waste materials emphasized the importance and calming power of nature. It embraced the natural environment as an integral part of the artistic process and aimed to increase awareness of environmental issues and respect the beauty of nature. The purpose of the work was to encourage sustainable development, self-sufficiency, animal love and nature conservation.
The mirror house-like entity built at the entrance of the apartment challenged the visitor's ability to visualize. The room was lined with old mirrors and CDs that created an infinite reflection. The visitor had to face himself and think about how he sees himself - perhaps he can perceive himself better from several different perspectives instead of just one? The mirror room serves as a strong reminder that perception is subjective and often shaped by our own beliefs and experiences. As the visitor navigates the space, their vision becomes distorted and fragmented, challenging their perception of reality. The creation acted as a visual metaphor for the fluidity and diversity of identity, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery and acceptance.
The apartment's bathroom was wallpapered with stickers. Sticker art is an important part of street art culture and has become an increasingly popular medium among urban artists as a quick and easy way to leave their mark on public spaces. The stickers therefore enable the artist's message to be widely disseminated. Some of our stickers were self-made stickers, but they have also been collected from various parties and other artists. We also invited exhibition visitors to add their own stickers to the exhibition.