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In summer 2021, Pro Artibus Foundation organised a summer exhibition in public places in Ekenäs Old Town. It was being staged in collaboration with the Old Town association Föreningen Gamla Stan i Ekenäs rf. as a part of Ekenäs’ 475th anniversary. The exhibition took place 5.6–5.9.2021.
1. Carl Victor Wingren
2. Antti Tolvi
3. Bread Omens
4. Heini Aho
5. Harrie Liveart
6. Pia Sirén
7.1 Lauri Anttila and Corinna Helenelund
7.2 Lauri Anttila
7.3 Corinna Helenelund
8. Lukas Malte Hoffmann
9. Jan-Erik Andersson & Shawn Decker
The art in the Oasis outdoor exhibition raises questions about the way we treat our green environment and spend time in it. There has never before been such a great need for a functioning public space as now. We meet colleagues, family members and friends outside in parks or gardens. Inside is suddenly turned into outside. The summer exhibition takes advantage of this, spreading out across the town and giving us a chance to redefine the city’s green spaces for a brief moment. The starting point is the garden itself, which is very concretely visible in the plant growing done by some of the exhibition’s 12 artists, but also on a metaphorical level in other works:
What does the garden say about us? What do we want to use it to say? And how do we live together with the greenery that surrounds us?
Oasis is a series of artworks and art interventions that will be popping up in public places in Ekenäs from June 5 onwards. The Oasis artists problematize the garden as an extended space and outdoor living room, and the processes that it activates in human beings. The garden is the face of the wordless dialogue between the plants and the person tending them. It is a simultaneous expression of our values, interests and aesthetic orientation. The garden can be seen as its own little paradise, and as a Gethsemane. Some gardens have grown wild, while other are stylized and strictly controlled. A number of gardens resemble ill-mannered children, indulgently overfed and showered with chemicals. Others are functional, with crops and trees harvested in the autumn, while others are perhaps more focussed on providing a place for socializing. Some have high fences, while for others the horizon is their only boundary. The harvest itself can be fragile and perishable, but it also expresses joy, desire, longing and despair, sorrow and devotion. At the same time, there is often a concern and an infinite tenderness for struggling life.
Oasis includes both pre-existing and newly produced works in parks in the Old Town, along the promenade, jetties, and shores.
In order to evoke a broad set of different sensory impressions, the selected artists are very different in their expression and generations. In the market square people can sit down with a cup of coffee in an enormous bird’s nest and savour an ornamental sound experience. On the shore a giant palm tree sporadically appears. Beside the shoreline jetties, people will be surprised by waves of sound from a source installation and by rows of balancing acts made with running water. Further along the shore people can also bake their own bread in a oven installation. On display in the Old Town’s green areas are medieval herbal philosophy, a sundial, and a colour wheel made of flowers. In the narrow lanes people can explore traces of future archaeology, while also experiencing how the digital world meets the material. Inside Elverket there are mycelial cultures that live on in photographs.
Oasis also includes a number of events. See all Oasis events here
The exhibition has been curated by Pro Artibus Foundation curators Camilla Granbacka and Markus Åström.
The exhibition has been supported by The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and Sophie von Julins Stiftelse.
Pro Artibus’ outdoor exhibition has been arranged in conjunction with Ekenäs’ 475th anniversary in collaboration with Föreningen Gamla stan i Ekenäs rf.