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Hand-formed letters from plants, sand, a found steel beam and bricks, accumulating ash
Dimensions variable and changing

HIAP Open Studios (Spring 2020), HIAP Gallery Augusta, Helsinki, Finland

The letters stuck into a line of sand held in place by a found U-beam are made out of dried and ground leaves and flowers collected from Suomenlinna, mixed with a small amount of makko – powdered bark of an East Asian evergreen Machilus Thunbergii tree, a common binder used in sticks of incense. The word, which is an obsolete Swedish word for ‘progeny’, translating literally as ‘afterworld’, can be found inscribed in one of the marble slabs on the King’s Gate on the island. Built around 1753-1754 by Augustin Ehrensvärd, the site is where King Frederick I of Sweden gave permission to lay down the first stone of the fortress in 1748. The slow burning of the letters that fills the space with the indiscernible scents, aims to underscore the link between the fortification works and their impact on the plant species today.

Special thanks:
Iina Johansson, Landscape Specialist of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna

Link to an article Afterthoughts on ‘Eftervärd’ by Jenni Ki Nurmenniemi.

Photos © Sheung Yiu
Cinematography © Shubhangi Singh