Arja Kärkkäinen Birth Stone

Built on the square in front of the Aallokko Family Service Centre, the Birth Stone artwork is a monument to parenthood: to the support but also the boundaries of family relations and parenting. The essence of family life seems to be found not within things but at the edges that define the form. The thing that encloses something inside it is just as important as the content, if not sometimes even the content itself. The artwork strives to depict the cohesive intermediate state. The parts of the Birth Stone artwork that depict cells can be seen as the counterparts of gravestones, the birthstones of the living: on that basis, the work reminiscent of microscope images to be displayed outside Aallokko illustrates cellular junctions.

Arja Kärkkäinen (b. 1986) lives and works in Helsinki. She graduated as a designer from the LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts (BA) and then as a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture studies from the Academy of Fine Arts. Kärkkäinen works mainly with sculpture and moving image.

Juhana Moisander Platform 0

Platform 0 is located on the long side of the new Seipark multi-storey car park overlooking the platforms and on the façades of the south-facing wall. The artwork is based on the shared history of Seinäjoki and the railway. The railway station is the point to and from which the activities of the surrounding communities are channelled and spread. The railway is an innovation which has transformed our society and culture. In addition to contributing to freer movement, it has shaped our understanding of time and how it is measured. The scheduling of trains accelerated the move to common time zones and collective time. Societal changes and new ideas have produced different solutions to the demands of each era. However, certain elements, such as the rail tracks, platforms and the station clock, have been reproduced over and over again.

Railway stations are linked to many memories and events with people at the heart of them. People have been coming and going and working on the railways and in railway stations. Stations are places of anticipation, excitement and encounters. The horse was chosen as a theme because the early steam locomotives were called iron horses, and their engine power was measured in horsepower. The horse was also the form of transport to pre-date the railway, a means of transporting freight and an onwards connection from the station.
In Platform 0, the platform represents a point of departure and arrival and the figure zero can be seen as the intersection between the past and the future. It is present in both directions if we understand time as linear. The artwork acts as a spatial location, revealing the past layers of the area and playing its part in the future of the station.

The elements on the platform side include a horse, human figures and a station clock. Visually, the design of the clock is based on the rustic grandfather clocks of the Könni family of clockmakers from southern Ostrobothnia. The station clock tells the time and has traditionally been a meeting place for people. The long wall opens out to the travellers arriving and departing by train. The south-facing wall is visible from a distance, forming a landmark by the railway station.

The work is made by perforating the images directly into the façade. The model for the horse image is the queen of horse racing, Akaasia from Kurikka, and the photos depicting people are from the archives of the Pyhälahti photographic studio in Lapua. The images represent people who may have travelled through the station over the years.

The focus of the artwork for the artist are the memories connected to the railway station, the shared history of the railway and Seinäjoki, and the emotions associated with stations: anticipation, excitement and encounters. The people in the photographs represent types of sorts: figures and the artist’s visions of people who may once have passed through the station.

Although the images are based on photographs of real people, Platform 0 is not intended to be a portrait or depiction of people who once lived. It is also not a historical documentation of Seinäjoki Railway Station. The artwork is the artist’s interpretation and is intended to provoke ideas, fuel the imagination and create atmospheres. The technical characteristics of the images, such as the ratio of light and shadow, which, when perforated, create a visually striking whole, also played a part in the image selection.

Juhana Moisander (b. 1977) is known for his media art in which the relationship between sound, image and space forms an atmospherically powerful whole. Moisander graduated with a Master of Art’s degree in visual arts from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University) in 2007. Moisander works and lives in Karkkila.

Marjukka Korhonen Rabbit Hole and Ferris Wheel

The Rabbit Hole and Ferris Wheel artwork, located in the station subway, is a spatial Gesamtkunstwerk which consists of suggestive levels. The world of railways is subtly present throughout the entire length of the subway. The rabbit hole is a special place which allows passers-by to observe the changing events around them. The events found in the rabbit hole are fleeting, layered and attention-grabbing. They are based on historical events at the station. In addition to depicting the present day, the artwork portrays another level of time and a connection to the early days of rail traffic and to train timetables. The starting point for the proposal was its human scale, a tunnel that is welcoming and pleasant. The artist has aimed for an airy and shifting whole, with picturesque character, craftsmanship, materiality and spatiality.

In the subway, passers-by can see their reflections in the face of the Station Master and admire the mirroring of the birds’ gazes, the movement and shades of colours on the walls and the vivacity of the light tracks. The art elements give a rhythm to the journey through the subway and form passages along the route. The light tracks are arranged into the walls of the subway, and the lights turning on and off sequence the passage through the tunnel.

The colourful Cloud paintings on the walls of the tunnel create motion and spaciousness. Each colour welcomes passers-by as its own leg of the passage. The colour starts and ends asymmetrically and in different ways in each colour area. The Station Master sculpture stands and watches over as events unfold. The face of the aluminium sculpture is a mirror, so the master reflects its surroundings and the passers-by. The pigeons also have mirrors for eyes, and the glint of light from this small area can be seen into a distance.

At the centre of Marjukka Korhonen’s (b. 1968) artistic work are human figures belonging to different communities, such as families, groups of friends or workplaces. Korhonen graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2001 with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Korhonen’s output ranges from individual sculptures to large-scale design concepts for public spaces.

Pia Männikkö Stolon

Stolon sprawling in the lobby of the Aallokko Family Service Centre is inspired by creeping plants, nature’s most powerful propagators. When a branch or growth direction is broken, a plant persistently grows a new branch to replace the old one. Stolon parallels the many offshoots and stages of human life. We all have an impact on each other’s lives, even in mundane day-to-day encounters. Life is a constant process of development and learning: we strive forward and change direction if necessary. Life branches out in new directions through the members of our immediate and wider family, and the life of someone without a family of their own inevitably intersects with other people.

Stolon consists of a frame made of bent steel tubes and laser-cut leaves and flowers attached to the frame. The leaves are modelled on the particularly resilient ground ivy. The flower designs are a combination of different plants and symbols of the sun. Stolon’s shapes are geometrically stylised, and the artwork looks as if it had been built using building blocks. The multiple shades of green of the trunk and leaves enliven the artwork, and the colours also help emphasise its playful structure. Stolon will be placed on the wall opposite the main entrance. The artwork is visible from the entrance lobby and rises to the upper floors as well making contact with the viewer. Viewed from below, the light filters through the layered foliage.

Pia Männikkö’s (b. 1971) artworks are characterised by their strong relationship with space, physicality and natural phenomena. The scale of her pieces varies, and the materials and media are diverse, ranging from everyday objects, textiles and clay to photography and video. Männikkö graduated in 2010 with a BA in Sculpture and Environmental Art from The Glasgow School of Art and in 2014 with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture studies from the Academy of Fine Arts.

Tiina Raitanen Waiting and Arriving

Tiina Raitanen’s artwork Waiting and Arriving, is made up of several parts and located in the courtyard of the Aallokko Family Service Centre and on the wall of the building. The artist explains the origin of the idea for her artwork: I visited Seinäjoki on 5–6 May 2022. I spent two days exploring the city and the area around the railway. I wandered around lingering in the railway yard, parks, streets and car parks. I examined the objects that had fallen on the ground and selected the most interesting shapes to take with me. I worked the shapes into collages in my studio. I’m fascinated by objects that have ended up in a certain place at a certain time. They reflect the randomness of a life lived. A remnant of a transient event is recorded in my sculpture as a fragmentary form, an echo of a past moment. The sketch of my sculpture Waiting and Arriving consists of five pieces. A curved concrete piece leans on a shallower bronze piece in the grassy area of the courtyard. The shapes depict the act of waiting. As we are leaving on a trip, coming back home or heading for an appointment, we are rarely so punctual that we would not have to wait around for a while. It is better to be on time than late. We wait in countless situations throughout our lives. A longer wait makes the body long for something to lean on, a chair, a handrail, something to ease the physical state of waiting. The largest piece of the sculpture depicts this event.

In the curved concrete piece of Waiting, undulating rings form the circumferences of a semi-circle. They appear like the paths that we travel layering on top of each other throughout our lives. On the back of the concrete piece is a row of life-size bronze castings of the objects found in Seinäjoki. They are fragments of life lived. Things that we cannot any longer quite place or remember but which follow us like tethers. Through the Arrival piece, the artwork extends to the exterior wall and canopy of the Aallokko Family Service Centre. Using the objects she has found the artist has assembled a wing-shaped form which is cast into four identical concrete pieces. Three of these will be mounted on the wall and one on the canopy. The shape of Arrivals loosely resembles a leaf of a tree, a seed and a wing. This part of the artwork describes the act of arriving: the arrival at your destination or the arrival of loved ones, friends, news and communication. The different pieces are scattered around the building, as if blown by the wind.

Tiina Raitanen (b.1983) explores different environments and materials in her work. Her work process transforms random materials found in our surroundings into shadows of their previous existence. Raitanen graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2012.