Third thoughts!

Where: Helsinki

Oh scandanavia how I love you so. Free bikes, clean streets, black metal goths, striking blonde girls, clean design, bike and pedestrian lanes wider than the roads, manicured parks and public art on every corner.

And don’t get me started on the rockabillies in big old cars, the hackey-sack championships next to the lake, and free 24 hour art exhibitions…

The 24-hr art was an open-air exhibition of some of the photos from the classic ‘earth from the air’ book. I have the book, but just like anything, seeing it big and for real is always better. I was also really stoked to see WWF involved in the exhibition, and promoting memberdhip of a ‘Friends of the Baltic Sea’ group to help protect the ‘unique marine environment’. Sounds like something with potential as a thesis topic during my course!

Linking in with the WWF panda, was a little underground (literally) art and design space inhabited by youngsters. One of them had heard there were only 1000 pandas left, and so had amassed and created a roomful of images of pandas. They’d evn made 1000 pandas out of beads and invited you to take one, as long as you promised to look after it, and the earth’s ecosystems. Of course I grabbed, and will cherish one of them : )

One other cool artsy things noticed included a whole newspaper and contemporary arts program around the topic of ‘populism’. Might have to and catch some more of the works in the Oslo part of the exhibition! (NOTE: I have since seen the exhibition in Oslo, and it was really good!)

Helsinki did feel a bit deserted though. I thought many people would have been on summer holidays somewhere. These thoughts were confirmed as we headed out into the countryside.

All this had me pretty excited about the coming year – how could it not be a great experience in this sort of environment!


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