Beginning in the summer of 2007, cultural affairs in Finland will be enhanced by a new art event. The museum area at Taaborinvuori will come to life as the opposite pole of contemporary art of the 2000s. Also the yard area of the childhood home of the author Aleksis Kivi is in use, along with the Kirjastogalleria venue in the centre of Nurmijärvi.

Long before becoming known for its theatrical and music performances and events for children, Taaborinvuori was a place where Aleksis Kivi and local other children of Palojoki played. And Puska also offers play; the curator specially invites young people to see and experience the art on show.

The first Puska has a good crowd of invited artists: Timo Heino, Niran Baibulat, Kalle Turakka Purhonen, Kaisu Koivisto, Jenni Tieaho, Anssi Kasitonni, Kaarina Haka, Miika Nyyssönen, Aarno Rankka, Seppo Renvall, Maija Saksman, Maria Duncker and Maaria Wirkkala.

Summer art exhibitions in Finland are usually held in place hours away from the capital. Taaborinvuori is only a 30-minute drive from Helsinki, and the purpose of this exhibition is to add to the cultural offerings of the Uusimaa region. The exhibition is planned to be held over the course of several years.

Puska Bush has given its name to the setting of this summer exhibition, which has not been salted and cured with themes or additional titles. That would have made self-importance limit the themes and subjects and it would have given the whole showing a restricted framework. Exhibitions of environmental art often suffer from a slight bleakness, amateurism and deadly seriousness. It has been a joy to disqualify casters and stone-chiselers bound to their moulds from the outset, and instead of self-sufficient choices of material the focus is on the joys and cartwheels of life today. The choices of material and theme among the artists of Puska largely involve feelings of transience, fragility or otherness. The works may change according to the summer and the laws of the jungle.

The artists include names of today and tomorrow, able to create imagery and being that combine different ways of experimental sparkling that will even bring sweat to the back of a lumberjacks neck and make old ladies blush. Unlike the populism occasionally offered in the domains of art, Puska does not offer Eurovision song contests or make misses out of works and any more than their makers. Good wont become best by giving points, not even behind the woodshed.

When assembling the group, high on crispbread, I also bit on the approach by which children and young people could find the spark of art alongside skateboarding and chilling. Down with elitism. Art is in great need of a new and fresh audience, for whom a table of the arts has now been laid in a new setting. Nothing for it but to put a blade of grass in your mouth and to step into the yard and into the light of the image, for the art of Puska is heavenly and Taaborinvuori has become the capital of environmental art in 2007.

Harri Kivi
Prime mover of the Taaborinvuori Summer Festival of Environmental Art
The Thriller
The Press
Press photos