Posts Tagged ‘Finland.’

Lost World Photo by Mikko LagerstedtThe other day I came across this luminous photo from Finnish photographer Mikko Lagerstedt.  Titled Lost World, it shows a sailing ship partially sunk in shallow water beneath a densely star-filled sky.  All of the elements of the image– the color, the composition, the reflection on the water and the glow of the sky– give this photo a mysterious and intriguing vibe.  Just a great photo.

Mikko Lagerstedt is a self-taught photographer who specializes in what he terms atmospheric photography with an emphasis on simplistic landscapes and  night scenes.  They have a brilliance in them that plays well off the sparseness of the landscape and the immensity of his skies.  For more images and info, go to his site by clicking here.

I thought I would find a piece of music to go along with it for this week’s Sunday music and one of the first things I stumbled across had the feel that I was looking for.  It’s The Shining by Badly Drawn Boy from back in 2000.  It’s a song that pops up on my playlist every so often and always pulls me in with its opening moments that feature a mix of cello and french horn.

Enjoy.  Hope your Sunday goes swimmingly.  Not exactly sure what that means but I’m sticking with it.

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Jarnefelt-  under-the-yoke-burning-the-brushwoodI had come across some work from a Finnish artist, Eero Jarnefelt (1863-1937),  whose work  I had not seen before,  It was being shown in a list and as I scrolled down the group I was impressed with his style and the quality of the colors and light in his work.  It was beautiful work, thoughtful and filled with a tranquil quality.  But the final image was a hard veer away from the rest of the body of his work, a smoke and fire filled image of people beating the ground with sticks and in the midst of it , a young girl standing still among the smoldering ashes, staring into the eyes of the viewer as the fire blazes over her left shoulder.

It was a striking image and the girl’s face was haunting with her cheeks and brow smudged with ash.  She looks exhausted and mournful which is obviously the look that struck the artist Jarnefelt in 1893 when this was painted and prompted him to title this painting Under the Yoke.  These words are taken from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic which is said to have been the main inspiration for much of JRR Tolkien‘s work.  Finland had long been under yoke of Swedish and Russian domination and the mood from it is captured in this little girl’s forlorn look.

It’s became jarnefelt’s most famous work, understandably.  It only serves to underscore the impression his other work made on me.

Jarenfelt- Kesäyön Kuu 1889 Jarnefelt- Saimi in the Meadow 1892 Jarneflet-  Vesileinikki 1895

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I had a good trip down to Alexandria yesterday, a fast down and back jaunt with a pleasant, as always, visit with my friends there.  It’s always great to spend a little time with the folks there– Michele, Clint, Julia and Chris.  Oh, and my dog, Asher, who wants to play fetch from the minute you enter the gallery to the minute you leave.  He pretends to be Clint’s dog but I know that he’s really mine.  But since Clint wouldn’t part with him for the world and takes great care of him, I guess that’s okay.  Thanks for making me feel at home there, guys.

Sartenada -klaukkala_tsasouna_finland I was going to write about the trip a bit more but I was looking at a photo blog that I read on a semi-regular basis, Sartenada’s Photo Blog.   He is a retired pilot and amateur photographer   who travels around his native Finland and Europe snapping photos of some interesting subjects.  I particularly  like his photos of the rustic wooden churches in Finland, such as the one shown here on the left,  that are so beautifully designed.

Sartenada- ahlainen_church_iglesia_eglise_-16A recent post featured a group of folk art sculpture that he had noticed outside several of these churches, near life-size figures of what seemed to be people in great hardship, some missing limbs.  They often have a hand out as though asking for help.  It turns out that these are Poor Man Statues which are really just large and elaborate poor boxes.  There are slots in the sculptures to insert money that will be passed on to the needy of the church and the community.

Sartenada -pomarkku_church_iglesia_eglise_-19I was really taken by these statues which reminded me so much of some of the great folk art sculpture of the past  here in the States.Some are really expressive such as this one on the left. His face has deep creases in his weathered face  and, as Sartenada implies, may be based on an actual member of the church or community.  I think these are just wonderful and wanted to pass them on.  I’m pleased to see these surviving and hope that they will be preserved.

Again, you can see more of these at Sartenada’s Photo Blog.   It’s worth a visit if only for the statues and the beautiful rural churches of Finland.Sartenada-- historic_wooden_poor_man_statue_in_kuortaneSartenada - siipyy_church_iglesia_eglise_-4

Sartenada- pomarkku_church_iglesia_eglise_-18

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