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Sculpture as a carbon storage

Sculpture as a Carbon Storage. 7.10. - 6.11.2022 Turku Kunsthalle

Photo series of a sauna built from waste and recycled wood

The sauna in the photos was built by a joint effort over two days in August. The sauna is made of waste wood and works or parts of works by the artists involved. Works that were also made of recycled materials. The most visible part is Severi Aaltonen's Death before dishonor -installation, which ended up as ceiling and wall panels after being dismantled from exhibition.

The sauna as a carbon store is a contradiction in terms, given the theme of the exhibition: the wood used in its construction absorbs a large amount of carbon dioxide, but on the other hand, the sauna stove may in the future burn many times the amount of wood that is emitted from the chimney into the atmosphere. It is nevertheless a demonstration of the power of working together towards a common goal on common principles: to use as few virgin materials as possible.

In the sauna and through the photographs taken of it, we can reflect on the inevitability of emissions, their scale and how responsibilities are shared for reducing them.

All proceeds from prints and fridge magnets are donated to the Natural Heritage Foundation.

Photos and text by Ville Ruuska, 2022

From the exhibition info:

Sculpture as a Carbon Storage is a collective work, an archive-like concept composed of sculptural elements made by 37 artists. The artists have used pieces of waste wood and reject timber intended to be used as fuel for the district heating network. The carbon stored in the material is removed from the material cycle and bound in the artwork. At the same time, the artists explore the potential of artistic work to change the value of a material. During the exhibition, the audience can participate in the material refinement process by purchasing some of the pieces. The proceeds from the sales of the pieces will be directed to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation for the protection of Finnish primeval forests. As a result, the pieces execute the true essence of a carbon stock by increasing the value of the material from fuel to an artistic object and by producing funds to create new carbon sinks.

The ethos of the carbon stock is heavily based on charity and positive activism. The purpose of the project is to find and present a model, and opportunity, for the artist and the audience to take action in the thematic of sustainable development. Cooperation plays a key role in the project.

Artists for the carbon storage:

Henri Ahti, Jan Erik Andersson, Tuuli Autio, Andrei Bakharev, Frank Brümmel, Anna Ellmén, Markku Haanpää, Anu Halmesmaa, Mikko Halmesmaa, Jussi Haro, Simo Helenius, Jouna Karsi, Jessica Koivistoinen, Jussi Lipasti, Eero Merimaa, Jenny Mild, Timo O. Nenonen, Umppa Niinivaara, Eero Nives, Sandra Nyberg, Kimmo Ojaniemi, Sami Pikkarainen, Hannele Peltorinne, Nina Rantala, Rubuzak, Ville Ruuska, Jani Rättyä, Elisa Sakko, Jose Salminen, Timo Takala, Sini Talonen, Oona Tikkaoja, Antti Turkko, Fanny Varjo, Juha Welling, Sebastian Ziegler.

The exhibition is curated and produced by artist Eero Merimaa. Merimaa primarily works with sculpture and installation. He often utilises various collaborations and dialogue-based processes in his pieces. The pieces focus on materials and the information stored in them. Merimaa teaches sculpture at the Turku Arts Academy.

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