The project dates back to the 1980's when Pinsiö's local residents asked the artist Osmo Rauhala to help them with fixing an old gravel pit that was spoiling the landscape.
Action was taken quickly, and a committee to solve the matter was created; it was the first time that in Finland, artists were directly asked to solve environmental problems.
Nancy Holt and Agnes Denes were part of the committee, and last week the class visited Deneses “Tree Mountain” and Holt's “Up and Under”.
Deneses work, “Tree mountain” is site specific, and it's an example of cooperative art. Some 10.600 people planted a tree, which they will own for life. It is not allowed to sell the tree; it can, however,be left as a heirloom upon death.
The concept of “ownership” of a tree is a very subtle one, as the tree can never really be owned, being part of a forest and firmly rooted to its spot-the owners don't really possess the tree in a physical way, but they have a sort of moral obligation towards the forest and what it represents.
As the trees grow, the mountain slightly changes its shape and appearance, and eventually the trees will outlive all the original creators and custodians, and probably they'll even be there when the whole project and the whole philosophy behind it will be totally forgotten.
The road between “Tree Mountain” and “Up and Under” was supposed to be an easy 3km walk.
What actually happened, is that our happy little group in between chatters and laughters got almost completely lost, ending up in Pinsiö model airport(lennokkikenttä).
As art students, we lived up well to our stereotype. Far from being anywhere close to despair, everybody just enjoyed the adventure and started making artworks and photos, as if the fact of being lost in a fairly deep forest was nowhere nearly as important as making up new artworks.
After more walking, the group finally found some signs of civilization(and some ice-cream).
Eventually we made it to “Up and Under” where few classmates had already set up a fire, and we grilled some sausages and had a little rest from the two and more hours of walking.
“Up and Under”, created by Nancy Holt, is built to specifically follow the light and shadows of the site.
It is formed by seven tunnels(four of which are aligned east-west and three north-south, following Polarises orientation)and three pools(one of which was empty, alas).
One can experience the sculpture from different point of views: from under the tunnel, up the top,over the pathway or even from afar.
The sky is part of the piece itself, because it reflects in the pools, is clearly visible from the horizontal tunnels and can be also seen from the vertical tunnel.
In this artwork, earth, light and the sky are all one, and can all be experienced at once.
In the artist's concept, the artwork could also function as a gathering place for the population, making it a key element into town life.
Text and photos: Lavinia Colzani, Fine Arts.