The artists Ritva Kovalainen’s and Sanni Seppo’s thirty years of artistic and research work on forest themes culminates as the exhibition Forests of the North Wind, which will be exhibited at the Ostrobothnian museum 4.10.2024–27.4.2025.
Forests of the North Wind is the third and final exhibition which has sprouted from Kovalainen’s and Seppo’s photographic research. The two previous exhibitions in this thematic trilogy are Tree People (1997), exploring the Finnish forest mythology, and Silvicultural Operations (2009), highlighting the dark sides of forestry and the commercial forest. In addition to photographic works, the exhibition includes information about Finland’s forests, based on extensive research.
The exhibition Forests of the North Wind sheds light on our natural forests as a life-sustaining and diverse place. It depicts forests as rich ecosystems, containing trees of varying ages and species which live in biotic communities formed by thousands of plants, fungi, animals, protists, archaeans, and bacteria. The photographs shown in the exhibition are mostly taken in protected areas around the country’s eastern border, from North Karelia to Lapland. Apart from these forests, there are only slivers of the Finnish natural forest left today.
The exhibition highlights the current state of forests and the challenges ahead, including forest degradation and loss. Forests of the North Wind challenges the visitor with its theme, but also offers ideas on how to preserve what is left of our natural forest.
Ritva Kovalainen, Elämän puu, 2017. Photograph.