Jylhä [Imposing with greatness, austerity, or gloominess; awe-inspiring, majestic.]

Jylhä is a multidisciplinary artwork, created as a part of The Summer Day Festival at Töölö Bay on July 8th 2019, which acts as the opening festivities for Finland’s third EU presidency. Jylhä combines nature, design, technology and art.

It is comprised of a large-scale forest tunnel and two non-stop workshops. Jylhä aims to represent Finnish identity and to ask “What if?”. It explores the future through the national mythology of Finland, where this land of self-observing, curious, and driven people can access the images of their future through multidisciplinary means. The design of the forest tunnel is closely linked to questions about climate change - when seen from a bird's-eye view it forms a question mark.

The sound-artwork inside the forest tunnel is composed of “What if?” questions, which also form the base for the two non-stop workshops outside of the tunnel. In the first workshop, visitors express their own thoughts of the future by writing or drawing their own “What if?” questions on to small placards. These placards are then picketed into the surrounding lawn, to form an installation of miniature protest signs. In the second workshop the participants, with the help of dance instructors, are invited to create an interactive and ephemeral dance performance. Through movement, the workshop aims to create a space for different kinds of human encounters - silently and exuding empathy.

The Jylhä concept was created by Annantalo’s cultural producer Anna Puhakka. Annantalo is a multidisciplinary arts centre, arts education innovator, social operator and administrator of cultural education networks for children and young people in the heart of Helsinki. Annantalo promotes equal opportunities for children and young people to create and experience art and culture in Helsinki. The sound-artwork “What if?” has been produced by the Futures School (Tulevaisuuskoulu ry). In 2019, The Futures Laboratory - exhibition and workshop space at Annantalo, produced in cooperation with the Futures School, is a space for visitors to examine the future through artistic and experiment driven means. The dance workshop is lead by dance instructor Sanna Kuusisto in collaboration with dancer and choreographer Annika Sarvela.

The tunnel was designed by interior architect and designer Natalia Ritari, and the tunnel structure has been built by Paja&Bureau, a furniture and object design manufacturing company based in Helsinki, with an emphasis on metal materials. The forest materials used in Jylhä have been provided by Metsähallitus, as a part of their collaboration with HDW Children’s Design Week, which will be held 9.-15.9.2019 at Annantalo.

The artwork will live on in a new form after The Summer Day Festival at Töölö Bay. It will become a permanent fixture of the cityscape, as a part of the Annanantalo garden. There, it will be transformed into a multifunctional gallery space and multi-sensory botanical tunnel.

For more information, please contact Cultural Producer Anna Puhakka, anna.puhakka@hel.fi.

Picture: Natalia Ritari