Helsinki

Elina Strandberg: Theatre of Hay

Elina Strandberg: Theatre of Hay

Sep

16

Fri

12:00 – 17:00

5–8°C

scattered clouds

16 September – 9 October 2022

I create “hay sculptures” using dried or pressed plants. They are installations, sculptures and collages made of materials that I have found in forests and local nature. The Theatre of Hay is a continuation of these hay sculptures. For this exhibition, I have made figures that are imaginary hybrids of a human and nature. The first work was “The Bold and the Beautiful of the Autumn”, which I made in the au-tumn of 2020 during the second coronavirus wave. The pineapple weed that bravely bloom in local na-ture and are clobbered by sub-zero temperatures reflected the same feelings that we city dwellers ex-perienced during the lockdown. I saw nature as a network of various spaces, and something seemed to be happening in each space.

I started to collect people’s stories about their own experiences of the pandemic. I had an opportunity to do this in June 2021 at the Olohuone 306.5 Festival in Turku, in which I participated with a perfor-mance and two fauns I built. I interviewed people in Turku to find out how the pandemic had affected their lives. Some of these collected atmospheres ended up in this exhibition as well.

For this exhibition, I have built stages with a touch of Asian shadow theater and View-Master atmos-phere. When lit up, the thin and translucent plants create a three-dimensional, landscape-like space for the Theatre of Hay. The figures are collages created using photographs and late autumn flowers. The collage technique added new perspectives to the figures, perspectives that I could not have come up with in spite of careful planning. I have used floral wire to support the figures.

The Theatre of Hay does not offer ready-made stories. The worlds of the works awaken the viewer’s imagination. They may reflect the viewer’s own experiences and thus make them part of the story.

The fragility of the dried plants determines the size of the sculptures, but when building my works, I am always inspired by light, airiness and shape. My aim is to create a poetic perspective on the en-counters between people and nature, perhaps even something that could fix one’s relationship with nature.

The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi is related to my works. It refers to a simple and austere style that allows the hidden beauty of incompleteness and imperfection to emerge.

The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Elina Strandberg
Sculptor
Helsinki
elinastran(a)gmail.com

Fri 16 Sep 2022 – 09 Oct 2022 12:00 – 17:00

5–8°C

scattered clouds

Address:
Eerikinkatu 36 / Kalevankatu 43,
Helsinki