• The view I see. The view they saw.
  • Harness as a hat
  • Wood portrait
  • Wood portrait
  • Wood portrait
  • Handwriting
  • Heikki's breechers
  • Sylvi's milking jacket
  • He had a wooden leg
  • Hay poles
  • Sylvi on the field
  • Morning mist
  • He shot a moose and lied down next to it to die
  • Apple tree
  • 10_4
  • View from the window

Vastapuu (work-in-process)

There is a huge birch tree standing in the middle of my father-in-law’s home farm, my family’s second home. We have named it Vastapuu after the family name. For me the farm is a nostalgic place; here, I feel can breathe as time slows down. The sturdy Vastapuu birch creates a continuum and shelters conditions to study the family history – to play with time and memories. In its ever-changing shadows the past engages in a dialogue with my experience of the farm and the land.

When my farther-in-law died, the farm was in its original state and the buildings were filled with things that belonged to his family. These material memorials were the starting point of this work – my raw material. I took the momentous firewood, that had been in the shed for four decades not allowed to be burned, out of the shed and made portraits of them.

I mix studio images of the belongings with images documenting the present life in the farm. I use textual fragments and images from the family album. I use photography to preserve and capture memories, but also to shape and fold them, and to create new memories. My attempt to portray the people I never met embodies the impossible quest involved in photographic practice, the human desire to remember, and to be remembered.

Through the microhistory of the farm built by Karelian evacuees the work attaches into the Finnish national memory and raises questions about home, homeland and integration. After the Winter War and the Continuation War over 400 000 Karelian evacuees were relocated to start their lives from the beginning.

Through the renovation of the Vastapuu farm and its feral landscape the project also asks questions about the state of rural life today and plays with an idea of the rural revival.

The project is funded by Kone Foundation.