Warjakka Art Walk was a 3-year experiment that emerged in response to the Covid 19 restrictions of 2020. It was originally created by Mirjami Mäkelä and TaikaBox, and then maintained by Warjakkalaiset – the local village association. It was based on a 1.5km route through enchanted Finnish forest and contained various artworks and creative ideas. After evolving through various Summer and Winter versions, it was dismantled in September 2023.
Summer Art Path 2023
The Summer art-making points range from exploration of the surroundings to dancing, writing, making sounds and crafting. You can also bring home-made pieces to some of the art-making points. Remember to use only materials that can decay in nature!
Tapestry of Love
The world can feel scary right now. Let’s spread the feeling of safety in our community and show that we care for each other. The title of ‘Rakkausryijy’ is a combination of two words – ‘rakkaus’ which means love and ‘ryijy’ which is the traditional Finnish tapestry that hangs on the wall. Knit, crochet, sew or craft a heart and bring it to this art making point to join the other hearts. The hearts can be placed on the ground, tied to the nearby trees or sewn into the existing string. Please use only biodegradable materials (no plastic, hot glue or metal).
The bones of Warjakka sawmill
In the heyday of Warjakka sawmill – located in Varjakka island – in the 1920’s, there were over 700 workers. This installation is dedicated to all Warjakka sawmill workers, such as sawyers, adjusters, horsemen and others who have left their mark on the history of Varjakka. You can find 150 pieces in this installation. All pieces are originally from Varjakka island where they have been sawn around 100 years ago and the sea and sand has honed them into bone-like shapes. Each piece is unique and is branded with archeological data – the initials of the worker, their job and the year they were employed by the sawmill. Feel free to explore the ‘bones’, but respect them – some of them are fragile. Which professions do you recognise? What kind of work might they have done?
Finland is the land of a million mosquitoes. Can we find something positive about them? Thank you mosquitoes! You make us move. Stand still. Do you hear and feel them? Start waving your arms to whip mosquitoes away and continue as if you were dancing. Let your arms lead you into new and weird movements. Watch the Mosquito Dance video, copy movements and thank the whiners with your dance!
You are welcome to spend time in the ‘knitted forest’ to wonder and to be inspired. Which of the works you are interested in the most? Which one makes you happy? Can you guess which one is the oldest? You can also knit or crochet your own art work relating to nature, animals and plants and install it here.
‘Käpylehmä’ is a cow made out of a pinecone and four sticks. These were children’s toys in old times. Let’s grow a conecow pasture together. The conecows are missing their friends and a big herd. Find a good cone and sticks and bring your conecow to Käpylä to enjoy its Summer. Be careful of the other cows and buildings in the pasture. Mmmooo! for the Summer!
Poetry + Letter to Unknown Person
Read or listen to a poem on YouTube. What do you see in nature that is worth a poem? Write a poem, story, thought or aphorism in a booklet in the postbox. Read also other people’s poems. Be brave! There are some ideas for writing in the first pages of the booklet.
When did you last write and receive a handwritten letter? Writing letters can be fun and relaxing. We can also fight against loneliness by writing. Take a pen and paper and write a letter using a pseudonym and bring the letter to the postbox in the forest. You can also take a letter away with you.
Regards, Letter Fairy
P.S. Let’s remember that the aim of the letter is to make its reader happy – not to offend anyone.
The Red Tree
You can find a total of 90 leaves made out of fabric hanging from the Red Tree or the ‘Sorrow Tree’. One side of all leaves is red felt and the other side either blue jeans, light coloured upholstery fabric or reflective fabric. The leaves relate to the sad history of the area. Twenty leaves are dedicated to women and girls who drowned in a tragic accident in 1907 (blue jeans). The youngest was only eight years old. 29 leaves remind us of the year 1929 when the main shaft of the sawmill broke and the heart of the village stopped (light coloured upholstery fabric). 41 leaves refers to the year 1941, during which there was an unofficial prison camp in Varjakka (reflective fabric). Please, sit down next to the Red Tree and let your own sorrows drain down through the roots and out into the earth.
The Red Tree was inspired by the picture book by Shaun Tan.
Dream Catcher installation can be found in a bunker near the big pine tree. The installation is meant to expel ‘bad spirits’ from the Art Path and its visitors. Have you ever stopped wondering where our mean words and acts come from? It may stem from our own dissatisfaction to ourselves and our lives. Dissatisfaction can easily make us feel envy and bitterness towards people who seem to do better in life than we do. We know hardly anything about other people’s lives and therefore comparisons are pointless. Negative emotions hurt ourselves the most, impacting our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Therefore, let’s try to get rid of our negative mind-set. Be kind to yourself. Aim to accept yourself as you are. Try to forgive to yourself and others. Stop by Dream Catcher for a moment and let it capture your negative thoughts and change them to positive ones.
Dream Catcher consists of hanging amulets made out of small stones and messages painted on rocks on the floor below the amulets. Each stone holds a word that describes a feeling that Warjakka Art can provoke (positive and negative). You are welcome to add to the installation and bring your own amulet or a rock. Please use biodegradable materials (no plastic).
Warjakka AR + Gardens
Welcome to Finni and Kukko Streets! Step back in time and look inside Warjakka sawmill workers’ homes and the virtual art gallery using Warjakka App (available in Google Play and the Apple Store). More information can be found on location from the behind of the big red sign situated next to the Finninkatu foundation and in Warjakka 3D. Explore also the Warjakka Community Gardens – especially the local traditional plants in the Kukonkatu foundation. Did you know that you can hire a growing box from Warjakka Gardens and become one of the farmers in this community garden?
Patterns on the ground are messages, signalling that someone has been here. What kind of sign are you leaving? Create a pattern on the ground, using the natural materials around you. It can be triangle, mandala, an animal, an arrow… big or small. Take a photo as your masterpiece will disappear over time. Share the photo in social media with a hashtag #warjakantaidepolku (P.S. Don’t use living plants!)
Stump Village is a neighbourhood of small wooden buildings that represents the sawmill community of a century ago. It also asks questions about what happens to trees after they have been felled, and is a symbol of the new community that is growing up around the cultural activities and gardens of Varjakka.
Bring a small art piece inspired by nature to Kukonkatu growing box number 11. Let’s allow the art work to grow and change together with the plants. What kind of imaginary world is going to form there during Summer? Troll Forest? Fairy World?
Play, clatter and jingle. Explore!
Everyone visiting Warjakka Art Walk is taking responsibility for themselves. The terrain is not wheelchair accessible. Parking can be found near the entrance of the Art Walk and in Varjakka harbour. In the Summer, remember to have mosquito repellent and good shoes for walking. Let’s keep Varjakka clean and take our rubbish away! If you notice that any art pieces are broken, please contact Warjakkalaiset village association at: email@example.com
Warjakka Art Walk was originally created in 2020 in collaboration with local artist Mirjami Mäkelä and TaikaBox as part of the Neighbourhood Artist pilot project funded by Oulu City and Ministry Education and Culture.
Winter Art Path 2022-23
Let’s build an imaginary ice castle together. Bring some art made out of ice to the Ice Palace next to the gate of the Art Path. You can create great building material by freezing water in milk cartons, for example. To create colourful bricks, just add a drop of food colouring into the water or some other colourful liquid – for example from your beetroot jar. You can also add some flowers and cones. Please do not to use any material that cannot decompose in nature. You can attach the bricks together by using a little water and snow. Remember bring a bottle of water with you!
Tapestry of Love
The world can feel scary right now. Let’s spread the feeling of safety in our community and show that we care for each other. The title of ‘Rakkausryijy’ is a combination of two words – ‘rakkaus’ which means love and ‘ryijy’ which is the traditional Finnish tapestry that hangs on the wall. Knit, crochet, sew or craft a heart and bring it to this art making point to join the other hearts. The hearts can be placed on the ground, tied to the nearby trees or sewn into existing strings. Please use only biogradable materials (no plastic, hot glue or metal).
Tree Trunk Art
Try making art on tree trunks – it’s easy! Take a handful of snow and make a snowball. Stick it onto a tree trunk. Make another ball and create an installation or character. Wet snow works the best. Snow sticks well on the trunks of pine and spruce trees.
You are welcome to spend time in the ‘knitted forest’ to wonder and to be inspired. Which of the works are you interested in the most? Which one makes you happy? Can you guess which one is the oldest? You can also knit or crochet your own art work relating to nature, animals and plants and install it here.
Traces in the Forest
The forest contains a lot of wildlife that often goes unnoticed. Snow, however, can reveal it. Observe your surroundings. See if you can spot traces on the snow and guess who has passed by.
Welcome to Finni and Kukko Streets! Step back in time and look inside the Warjakka sawmill worker’s homes and the virtual art gallery using Warjakka App (available from Google Play and the Apple Store). More information can be found on location – behind of the big red sign situated next to the Finnninkatu foundation. In Summertime, there are flourishing community gardens in these foundations.
Snow Sculpture Garden
Snow is a fascinating temporary art material. Snow scultures make us smile. What is growing in the Snow Sculpture Garden? This year’s Winter Garden is created together with Salonpää school. The realisation of the garden depends on snowy weather and sub-zero conditions.
Play, clatter and jingle. Explore!