When you walk through Helsinki, public art is never far away. The city has nearly 500 outdoor sculptures, works of environmental art and historical monuments. Searching for them is a great way to refresh both your body and your mind.
Helsinki’s public sculptures should be admired from different angles to see how they mirror the landscape. Helsinki also has many hidden gems that, for one reason or another, even many locals do not know about. When walking around the city, you can search for these treasures and even make your own list of all the art you find along the way.
You can find out more about all the public art and find recommended walking routes on the Helsinki Art Museum HAM website.
Emma Jääskeläinen: Put put (2020)
First there was a shell from which a pearl rolled onto the grass of the Herttoniemi district. Emma Jääskeläinen is a sculptor whose soft design language attracts children to sit on top of her sculpture. The new seaside residential area in Herttoniemi has gained a landmark in the sculpture that exudes the warmth of the skilled sculptor.
Gerda Qvist: Sundial (2) (1931)
The word sundial itself is beautiful. The sculpture of the same name in the Hietaniemi district is made of granite and bronze. The ornamentation features the elements of water and air in a sophisticated style. The inscription on the sculpture TEMPUS FUGIT is also one of the oldest themes in art. Gerda Qvist was one of Finland's first female sculptors and won the competition for a public sculpture in 1931. Her sculpture can be found near the Hietsunranta beach.
Jacob Dahlgren: Early One Morning, Eternity Sculpture (2019)
Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren is known for his playful constructivism and has contributed to the Kalasatama district a pink and intricate form that happily communicates with its surroundings. The artist's works often draw on urban space and everyday life, and colourful stripes in particular are a characteristic aesthetic for Dahlgren.
Anssi Pulkkinen and Taneli Rautiainen: Arch (2014)
The broken bridge suspended atop an arch is at the same time imposing and funny or wistful and faith affirming, whichever way you want to see it. This impressive public work of art can be found on the rocks next to Vesala Primary School and offers the mind endless opportunities to interpret and wonder. Known for their insightful sculptures, the artists Anssi Pulkkinen and Taneli Rautiainen are spiritual relatives of Polish-German contemporary visual artist Alicja Kwade.
Sakara 5, Kontula
Riikka Puronen: Compass and Stars (2018)
Compass and Stars is a horizontal composition that delights with its material spectrum and solid geometric shapes equating to the wildness of the stars. References and symbolism can be easily associated, the aesthetic form can be admired and the conceptual side contemplated.
Toukolan rantapuisto, Arabianranta
Vesa-Pekka Rannikko: Aaumu (2005)
The onomapoetic name is a combination of the Finnish words for Morning and Haze, suggesting the artistic emphasis. We are presented with a form that may suggest something familiar yet refuses to settle down and perform, which is why it remains mysteriously fascinating. The theme of the hidden and the revealed is also present in the artist's other sculptures.