I am of course talking about the Finnish capital Helsinki. I was fortunate to take part in a group trip to surprise a dear friend and I wanted to share a snapshot of this beautiful place, which will also act as a reference point and stimulus for my own creative pursuits. I love to be reminded of the colours, textures and mood of this Scandinavian adventure.
We all know that snow can transform any scene. The winter light also produced some striking effects which I was eager to capture. The following photographs are not representative of this capital city but are ones that I enjoyed taking.
Finland has a strong tradition of design for home interiors, so I was excited to see first-hand some of established brands which I had previously admired from afar like Marimekko, renowned for its original prints and colours with its signature poppy motif and Iittala, originally founded as a glassworks, but now produces timeless yet modern Scandinavian tableware, cookware and home interior design.
During my trip we took a short boat ride to Suomelinna, one of the world's largest maritime fortresses and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a notable example of European military architecture.
No trip is complete without some little souvenirs of a stay. With these gifts and presents I brought home a little piece of Finland which will stay with me forever. So, Max has his new Moomin mug and I have some Marimekko items and knitted Finnish socks to treasure. And of course, one of the best things about going away is coming back home, to my family.
Graduate exhibition at Bevere Gallery
Nestling at the end of a quiet lane, in historic Worcester, is a gem of a gallery which specialises in contemporary studio ceramics and pottery, but also stocks original art-work, The Bevere Gallery.
As a fledgling ceramicist I went along with the view to see what the pick of the last year's graduates are producing. Originally I had wanted to do my own overview for the Midlands Potters Association, of which I am a member, but the sun was so bright and cast such strong shadows that I feel it would do these artists a disservice to post sub-quality photographs.
So instead I am going to point you in the direction of the gallery's extensive review on their website.
It was great to see a wide variety of work and styles on show, and the gallery has reported good sales so far for this exhibition. The exhibition is on until February 4th so I encourage you to go visit for yourself to check out what the next generation of ceramicists are producing. As a further incentive those that visit and fill in a questionnaire stating their favourite artist will be entered into a draw and one lucky recipient will receive a voucher to spend at the gallery.
I also had an interesting chat with the curator about how the market has changed, especially since we have come out of the recession. Twenty years ago collectors were faithful to their preferred ceramicist or potter, however nowadays they tend to be more eclectic in their choices and wants, which is good news for the aspiring graduates in this exhibition.
Looking at pots is hungry and thirsty work, and the gallery also has an excellent café which prides itself on handmade delicacies sourced locally where possible.