Tuesday 23 March 2010

Exhibitions in Helsinki

Last Wednesday I had a cultural day with my daughter in Helsinki. We went to see three exhibitions before I had my own programme and Kaija went shopping for some new jeans. Our first address was Design Forum, their exhibition celebrating the 130 years of Suomen Käsityön Ystävät (Friends of Finnish Handicraft) (The link's English version is at the moment under construction). You may remember that I have told about this organization in  some of my VTT posts and when I tried to explain the ryijy rugs. The exhibition was called YSTÄVÄT & ystävät - Friends and friends.


The work exhibited was made by contemporary handicraft artists as a tribute to the traditional skills.
Shadow of a piece constructed like a himmeli.

Textile surface on clocks and stools.

Modern embroidery. I didn't quite understand what this table setting was about.

Our next address was not far, the Päivälehti Museum. There was a Moomin Exhibition, The Great Adventure, celebrating the publishing of the very first Moomin book 65 years ago. There were wall-size pictures from the picture books. This is my super favourite, "the book with holes", where Moomintroll is bringing home milk early in the morning but ends up looking for Little My. The blue part of the picture is in the book on the next page, the yellow path continues on the other side.

To cut the long story short, this is the second last page where they have survived all dangers and see the dear Moominmamma sitting in the garden and cleaning red currants. She is not asking any questions, just happy to see her son and his friends. The milk has gone sour, so there will be juice for everyone.

Kaija opened the door of the tall Moomin house in this picture:

This picture is from another picture book, Who Will Comfort Toffle?

The bat's eyes were holes!


I looked in first and then took a picture for you to see:

This is The Groke. I quote the Wikipedia text for those who don't care about links: "The novelist Alison Lurie has described the Groke, a black, hill-shaped creation with glowing eyes, as a walking manifestation of Nordic gloominess – everyone she touches dies, and the ground freezes everywhere she sits."

There were also originals of the Moomin cartoons, but they could not be photographed. We did listen to the sea in big sea shells like the children in the picture of my link. In the evening I gave Kaija the hole book I used to read to them when they were little. I still have my own from the 50's, and when there some day will be grandchildren, I will buy a new book to read to them. The holes could so easily be torn!

We also walked to the Amos Anderson Museum to see the Dutch mathematician M.C. Escher's Impossible Worlds. All my pictures were out of focus, so if you follow the link you will notice he is the guy who can draw water running uphill and fish turning into birds.

Spring report:

Snow was taken from the streetside so the streets and pavements will not be icy for too many weeks. The nights are cold but days are often sunny so the snow has started to thaw even with temperatures below freezing point. This is a great time to get a facial suntan, with the snow reflecting the sunlight. I will stay indoors sewing, as it is too cold to sit on the verandah at this time of the year. The icy streets don't tempt me for unnecessary walks.


  1. What great exhibitions. Love the Moomins. The pictures were different and memorable when I was little.

    Escher is fun! I had an RE teacher who would give us such eye puzzles to look at when we had finished our lesson.

    Glad to hear that there is some improvement in the weather for you. We are back to Winter for the next few days.

  2. As soon as I saw "Moomin" I remembered it being your favorite children's storybook. I just love the graphics. My daughter is a fan of M C Escher. How wonderful to spend time exploring with your daughter. Wishing you snow free days...soon.

  3. Oh we used to have the Mooim's when we were young- I'd forgotton all about them! And I certainly never realised they were from your part of the world!

    It was a very interesting day you had, and thank you for sharing it with us! I also like the Rug on the wall, but I can't remember the name. I'm going back now to follow the link!

    Oh and I posted a link to here today as I thought other people would like a trip to Helsinki! I hope that is ok?

  4. When we were little my Mom used to make rugs a bit like that, also from kits. We still use them as they are very hard wearing.

  5. What a lovely way to spend the day with your daughter! The picture book exhibit looks fun.

  6. Thanks for sharing these great pictures. I love The Moomins, they are so magical. Hope very soon the sun will shine, enough snow!

  7. Wie habe ich die "Mumin"-Bücher gerne gehabt als Kind und auch meine Kinder sind mit ihnen aufgewachsen. Da hätte mich die Ausstellung sicher auch interessiert und mir gut gefallen :-). Der Schnee ist nun verschwunden und es war heute richtig tolles Gartenwetter bei fast 20°C ! Will dich nicht neidisch machen, die Temperaturen fallen am Wochenende wieder ;-) !
    Liebe Grüsse,


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