Thanks to the school children in Vaasa and Espoo as a result of collaborative felting workshops at Vaasa Art Gallery and Helinä Rautavaara museum I was able to exhibit felted and collaborative textile art piece called “Let a hundred flowers bloom” at Valo Gallery in Arktikum, Rovaniemi. In the workshops the children were thinking about all the possible flowers there could exist when felting the flowers. This collaborative art work was part of “Ystävällisesti teidän”, “Sincerely Yours” exhibition that opened at 13.11.2017. The piece was previously exhibited at Vaasa Art Gallery (Vaasan Taidehalli) at “Kohtaamisia” exhibition with Mari Mäkiranta and Reetta Kerola 11.2.-19.3.2017. In Vaasa the textile installation was created of separate small felted pieces over wire structure in the Gallery space. At Vaasa Art Gallery the chidren’s stories about the flowers were also documented and recorded.
Now the installation has changed it shape and the flower field has started bloom as the pieces are taking shape and growing up from the field. Who knows what could next happen in the felted flower field? There is already a carnivorous plant as well as the flies. The felted piece is next traveling to Australia to be exhibited in Port Augusta as part of the Voices exhibition. I hope to be able to continue work with this piece and enlarge the flower field.
When I was was felting in collaborative workshops with children I thought of tolerance and multiculturalism in our society. The idea was to allow everyone to do their own kind of flower in the field as they wanted. Creating harmony or at least interaction with different kinds of forms and shapes in a concrete form. Revisiting and revising Hundred Flowers Campaign of Mao Zedong in my thoughts into open artivist hands on action with children rather than closed political statement. Hopefully this is an ongoing project that will be taking new forms, the first corner of the flower field. Hear at the children telling about their flowers @vimeo.