OK! I am tired of feeling so damned emotional about everything in my life right now!! Time to snap out of it for a moment and focus on something less likely to make me cry.... Besides, I am supposed to go to Happy Hour at 4 PM and I can't very well show up with puffy eyes and a snotty face! Oh, and there is my second happy thought of the day... I get to quit the job and keep the happy hours! YAY! The first happy thought of the day was actually remembering my dream, which was a long and drawn out, blown-way-out-of-proportion college graduation for me, with the rehearsal part included so I got to do it all TWICE. I was in a key role (yes, it was all about ME) and feeling on top of the world. That felt so nnnnnice. I told a friend of mine yesterday that the past two months of my life have felt like a crash course in personal growth - so maybe last night I actually "graduated"?... heh. OK, but onto the "something less likely to make me cry..." Today I'll share one of the more cultural parts of my trip to Finland. (OK, so maybe it's not THAT cultural - but it's not about family dynamics or loss and grief either!...)
This is the art stodio/gallery of Heljä Liukko-Sundström in Humppila, Finland.
Heljä Liukko-Sundström is one of the most well-known contemporary ceramics artists in Finland. Most recently, she has opened a new studio/gallery very near where I grew up. When I learned about it, I was very excited to pay her a visit. The architecture of the building itself reflects her artistic style. It was a beautiful space to walk into - it felt as if I was entering one of her pieces (which, in fact, I was). One has to walk beyond the field of flowers to find the entrance behind it. Once inside, the entire back wall of the space was floor to ceiling glass - with a beautiful view of a huge open field, parts of it wild and other parts farmed, and a deep spruce forest beyond it. The kind of quiet scene that allows for creativity to bubble up from the depths of one's unconscious. I can only imagine sitting by a giant art table and watching as the random moose or deer comes to catch an effortless snack on the fields of barley. This is the time of the year to be a moose for sure. Constant day light, no snow, child birth behind and all kinds of food waiting to be eaten! Only a few more weeks and the fields will be harvested, the cows have to start dealing with horny bulls, and worse, hunting season begins. But I digress... back to Heljä.
These are a few of the pieces we own by her, thanks to my grandma. (The first piece is actually a triptych but we are missing the middle piece as of yet.)
In case you want to see more of her work, here is her official site.Heljä Liukko-Sundström (YAY Steve for teaching me how to do that!!!) She has also written children's books as well as poetry that she is illustrating via clay. One of her books (which I SHOULD have BOUGHT!) is called the clay poet - and that is how I think of her. Her work truly is poetry to me.
I visited the studio with my dad. While he is definitely immensely creative in his own right (much more so than he'll ever give himself credit for) and can appreciate the arts, deep down he is a farmer and "old school" in the sense that to him money earned any other way than through hard physical labor is just not money earned honestly. (Well, I am exaggerating there, but you probably get the point.) So, naturally, looking at Heljä's work which was priced in the 1000+ Euros for the original, one-of-a-kind pieces made for some interesting conversation... It was moments like that one that allowed me to learn more about him as a person - and I could share with him a little bit about my world. It's funny, the moments - tiny morsels of time really - that end up making the biggest impact on me... And through those morsels I slowly begin to shift my view of things back home from that of a teenager to that of an adult... Not living there makes the trips back home these "intensives" in adjusting my world view about who my family is and how I fit into it. I don't know if that makes any sense, but that is the best I can explain it - for now anyhow... but this is starting to sound dangerously close to getting into family dynamics again...... and I choose escapism today! *grin*
I think next time I will share with you my own creative sessions - with our god daughter Pinja!....... OMG! Did I mention I now have the worst case of baby fever?......... But fortunately I have to start packing for New Zealand VERY soon!!!!