During my last few days here I have met some of the studio artists and visited the Sara Hildén Art Museum. The museum felt a little like The Whitworth in Manchester, although it is located next to the Särkänniemi Adventure Park. Mrs Sara Hildén (1905-1993) was a business woman in Tampere who was married to the painter Erik Enroth. Sara supported her husband until there divorce on the agreement that she owned the work. In the museum was a fascinating film about the story of her life and how she had acquired one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in Finland. She donated all her works to the city and in 1979 the museum was opened to the public. The unusual location of the museum next to an adventure park she specifically wanted which I think was a very forward thinking move. Impressively the collection totals around 5000 works. Currently on show is the summer exhibition which consists of European modernism and early pre-war masters and further into the show new contemporary acquisitions. I particularly liked Jussi Niva, Foldaway (Circuit), 2014 oil on panel, painting. On the first floor prints were presented low, within angled white boxed frames that was an alternative solution to hanging work in a room with little wall space. Outdoors in the surrounding grounds are sculptures which the museum provide an A4 sheet with a map, illustrations and names of the artists on. I do feel outdoor work can be forgotten about so this information was helpful and encouraged you to go and see them. Overall a really enjoyable visit, what an amazing woman Mrs Sara Hildén was.
When I watched the film at the museum I noticed that one of the studio artists was in it called Timo Vuorikoski who was part of the Finnish modern art scene. After my talk on Monday he wanted to use my studio to hang some large scale drawings as there were some visitors coming the next day from China wanting to buy his work. I visited his studio and I particularly liked his small drawings of wooden structures that are used to launch boats. As a collection they reminded me of the beginnings of an alphabet. Ritvamarja Rantala just moved into the studio this week after having a city centre space. She is training to teach SEN students, art therapy and continue her practice. I found her personal art therapy drawings looser and more expressive. Ritvamarja is very skilled in painting and print making which she uses in her educational work. I am always impressed with skilled artists as my strength is more the creative process which is not always obvious to the eye. This afternoon we went upstairs to visit Varpu Rautaniemi and her family who reside here. She is an artist and currently having an art break while she raises her three children. I really wanted to see her work and she showed me two video pieces filmed on super 8. The image I have shown is of an ice skater and the second film is of a burnt, abandoned home both backdropped by the winter snow. As a new mum talking with another artist mum felt important as sometimes people can disregard your profession just because you are a mother.