Art, architecture and memorials in Rovaniemi, part 3

In this part 3 of public works of art in Rovaniemi I want to point out the female sculptors Laila Pullinen, Kirsti Liimatainen and Hannele Kylänpää and also the male sculptor Kain Tapper. They are all Finnish artists born in the 2000-century. I am glad there are at least a few public works made of women among the around 40 public works you can find in Rovaniemi.

IMG_8393Laila Pullinen was born in 1933 and her bronze work “Primavera” from 1964 is her first public work. You can find it hidden in a small square in Ainonkulma near the crossing of Poromiehentie and Ainonkatu in Rovaniemi. Primavera means “spring” in Italian language. The work is influenced by the painting Primavera of an Italian painter Botticelli in 1478. In his work there are three dancers but in Laila Pullinen’s work there are two abstract female dancers. Their heads are left away and their dresses are waving from the movement from the dance. Each one of the dancers are equipped with one real foot, though. This work represents Informalism or abstract expressionism, in the 1960ies.

IMG_8119Kristi Liimatainen (1901-1964) was born in Tampere, Finland. She is mostly known as a postcard painter. She preferred religious themes in her works. Her statue “Karjala” is a memorial to the fallen soldiers whose carcasses remained in the part of Finland, Karjala, that were to be given to Russia according to the peace agreements in 1944. She has made similar memorials to other cities of Finland, Haapamäki, Jämsä and Nokia, too.

The Karjala statue is made of red granite and stands in the Ruokasen Park near Ruokasenkatu in Rovaniemi. On the statue there is the text: “Tää on kosketus kotoa kallihista Karjalasta omalta oloperältä yhteistyön yrittämältä.”, translated something like “The touch of the home in Karjala”.

IMG_8121The work of Hannele Kylänpää (born in 1948) stands outside the Administration center of Lapland’s county along Valtakatu in Rovaniemi. It is a 7 meter high bronze statue named “Mother Lapland” from 1989. This work is well representing Hannele Kylänpää. She mostly do people, children and animals in her works; living lives are her favorite objects.




A startling work in Rovaniemi is the one made of the Finnish sculptor Kain Tapper (1930-2004) in 1988. The work “Birth of a Mountain” fills a big part of the square outside the Administrative & Cultural Center of Rovaniemi. It is a 120 meter long and it grows from the ground (the grass) in the beginning up to a 2,3 meter high work in the end. It is one of the largest public works in Finland. Kain Tapper was the winner of an art competition, arranged in 1987 by the Rovaniemi city, which intentions were to find a representative work to put in front of the Administrative & Cultural Centre with the town hall and the library that the architect Alvar Aalto finished in 1975. The work is made from red granite, Ounasvaara stone, soil and grass. Birth of a Mountain reflects from one direction the rise of Rovaniemi after the war and when viewed from the opposite direction, it reflects the decay of people and buildings.




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