Lönnström Art Museum selected Raimo Saarinen’s Floating Island as its next contemporary art project

Lönnström Art Museum has selected Floating Island by visual artist and sculptor Raimo Saarinen (b. 1984) as its next commissioned contemporary art project. Since 2016 Lönnström Art Museum has been producing commissioned contemporary art projects in close cooperation with artists. Selected in an open call, this years project is allocated a budget of 100,00 euro and artist’s fee.

Floating Island is a sculpture that mimics nature: “The new piece represents a continuation of my artistic research project with plant-based sculpture,” says the artist. “From the outside, the artificial structure looks like an ordinary island, only its motion and rocking on the waves reveal that there is something strange about it.”

Changes in shorelines and consequently of the landscape is a global phenomenon. The change can be gradual as when the land area expands due to landrise, or sudden as when a new artificial structure is introduced. There are even visions of entire cities built on sea.

One of the main themes raised by Floating Island is environmental and climate change caused by human action. “How are we shaping our environment? What are the limits of change that we are prepared to accept as individuals? How does artificial and built or modified nature differ from the rest of nature? What do we define as nature, what do we exclude from it?” Saarinen asks.

“Raimo Saarinen’s Floating Island continues the museum’s series of contemporary art projects that aim to generate broader discussion and influence thinking,” says Jenny Valli, Director of Lönnström Museums. “This particular project also calls for extremely close cooperation with a company specialising in floating structures. We are looking forward
to discover the potential of this cooperation as well.”

Vegetation on the artificial island will also include some exotic plants to enhance the sculptural and dreamlike quality of the piece. The paradise island will be moored in its place within the next couple of years. The actual site will be determined during the production of the work, which will commence in the beginning of 2019.

Image: Maija Astikainen