25 August 2011

The Magic of Lapland

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to
Ateneum , the Finnish National Gallery, to see
the Magic of Lapland exhibition.
It shows Lapland in art 
from the 1800s until today 
through almost 150 works of art
by 46 artists.

Two artists inspired me more than the others:

Reidar Särestöniemi 1925-1981
was born and spent most of his life in Kittilä.
He studied art in Helsinki and Paris,
traveled widely and depicted Lapland at different times of the year.

He supported nature conservation and the following 
borrowed quote was carved on his gravestone:
What befalls the land befalls the land's children. 
The rivers are our brothers. 
Animals, trees and people all breathe the same air.
If all the beasts were gone, 
man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. 
For whatever happens to the beasts, 
soon happens to man; all things are connected.

Andreas Alariesto 1900-1989
was a self-taught artist who wanted to
teach the younger generations about
past times in Lapland through paintings,
photographs, stories, poems, sculptures
and miniature models.

The following tale goes with the painting above:
This shows how the Lapplander sets off in autumn to bring in the 
first reindeer for slaughter. He searches for a long time in the forest 
but it sometimes happens that the animal he thinks is best 
suited is standing on top of some rock or on the edge of 
a ravine, as in this picture. Then the Lapp thinks to himself  
'That would be just the thing, but if it's not used to people 
it might take fright and fall into the ravine'. But he throws 
his lasso even so, trusting to his own skill, and – just like here – 
the reindeer doesn't fall into the ravine, though it is a dangerous looking 
place. He manages to grab it firmly before it can fall. 
This picture illustrates that situation.


  1. These are wonderful. It's lovely to see art I've never seen before. Thank you for that.

  2. Thank you LeAnn, I'm glad you enjoyed the paintings!


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