The City of Turku held an idea competition intended for local professionals in the visual arts from 4 to 24 May. The projects to be awarded and implemented were chosen from among the proposals submitted by the due date. The projects will be on display in different parts of the city from 1 July to 30 September 2020.

A piece of paradise for the city centre

Five of the proposals were chosen to enliven and beautify the summer and early autumn in Turku: the Paradise City sculpture by the Halmesmaax3 working group; the blocks of wood playing old tango music in the work Random Tango by Janne Kujala; Taidelautta, an art ferry by Hanne Lammi and her working group that will sail along the Aura River; the hangout and picnic table groups by Olli Sallinen and Saana Sipilä that will be placed in different parts of the city; and the community art work KaiPuu (Longing) by Johanna Sinkkonen and Pia Bartsch that will be attached to the trees along the banks of the Aura River.

It was also decided that two of the proposals submitted would be implemented as projects outside the idea competition: a street art work by a group of artists led by Jukka Hakanen and Matti Lankinen in the pedestrian and bicycle underpass on Markulantie as well as a work of environmental art called Villikko (Wild Child) by Minna Lappalainen that will be implemented as part of the City’s Monimuotoisuuden niityt (Meadows of Biodiversity) project next year.

Additional value to the cityscape

The idea competition, which was intended for professionals in the visual arts who live and work in Turku, was implemented with the 2019 profits of Turun kaupungin kaunistamisrahasto (Turku Beautification Fund), and a total of EUR 50,000 was reserved for organising it. The works to be implemented were chosen by the Beautification Fund’s coordination team, which includes Infrastructure Maintenance Manager Mari Helin, Director of Urban Planning Timo Hintsanen, Director of Museum Services Olli Immonen, Environmental Protection Director Olli-Pekka Mäki, Senior Curator of Public Art Ville-Matti Rautjoki, Director of the Recreation Division Minna Sartes and Chief Curator Maarit Talamo-Kemiläinen.

The selection of projects for implementation emphasised the additional value provided by the proposals to the cityscape, the diversity of the methods used and the geographical spread of the proposals to different parts of the city.

Works to be implemented

Halmesmaax3 working group: Paradise City
Paradise City by Anu, Miia and Mikko Halmesmaa is a paradisaical and visually impressive palm tree sculpture that will be implemented in the centre of Turku to serve as a resting spot for the people of the city. You don’t need to travel abroad to find paradise – you can encounter it in your home town.

Janne Kujala: Random Tango
Random Tango comprises four blocks of wood that will be placed in parks in Turku. As the name suggests, the blocks will randomly play old tango songs. As a whole, the work is entertaining, cheerful and atmospheric. It will enliven the parks and provide momentary opportunities for dance. The tango is well-known for being an impassioned music style and dance.

Hanne Lammi & working group: Taidelautta (Art Ferry)
Hanne Lammi, Miikka Mäkipaakkanen, Veera Syren, Henna Lammi, Tuomas Polo and Aki Kari will produce Taidelautta, a floating art ferry that will sail along the Aura River. The project includes building a unique art ferry and performing changing performing arts pieces on the stage placed on the ferry. These pieces will combine visual theatre, lights, video and live music. The audience can arrive whenever they want and watch the performance from their desired location on the banks of the Aura River or slowly follow the ferry along the river. The audience can interact with the ferry and performers digitally. The piece can also be enjoyed at home through livestreams.

Olli Sallinen and Saana Sipilä: Kesällä kerran (Once Upon a Summer)
The idea behind the proposal is to enliven the cityscape by means of design and provide people with beautiful, memorable and safe encounters in the urban environment. Recycled furniture will be used to create hangout and picnic table groups for the city’s residents to use when meeting with friends and family. The plan is to place 8–10 table groups, each comprising a table and four chairs, in different places around Turku. Each table group is designed to form a coherent whole in terms of the colour scheme and appearance. Splendid flower arrangements and oilcloth tablecloths that suit the colours will be designed for the tables.

Johanna Sinkkonen and Pia Bartsch: KaiPuu (Longing)
KaiPuu is a community art work that will be attached to the trees along the banks of the Aura River between Tuomiokirkkosilta (Cathedral Bridge) and Aurasilta (Aura Bridge). The artists are challenging the residents of Turku to participate in the work by inviting them to share stories about their own feelings of longing and the people they miss during these exceptional times through websites, social media and newspaper advertisements. The work also includes a performative part called Sininen hetki (Blue Moment), which will be implemented by Sandrina Lindgren and Ishmael Falke.

Caption: Halmesmaax3: Paradise City. Illustration.