From Artists

Wensi Zhai

photo 2 (1) photo 3 photo 1 (1)In forest, all kinds of plants are also ’watching’ at each other in their own way, although they don’t have eyes. But I believe the concept of eyes they have. Because when I look at them, feel them and perceive them, there is a certain energy exchange.

Visual Communication, MA, Centeral Academy of Fine arts.Beijing, China.
Environmental art, MA, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.

Currently I am working as a graphic designer.
In my spare time, I do illustration, pattern design, environmental art for expressing the spiritual impacts which I have digusted from nature.


Charli Clark

Root Structures

Hidden Structures is an attempt to make visible the scale and complexity of tree roots and involves cleaning the
roots of a fallen tree. The unmasking or ‘revealing’ of the underneath that is impossible to view when alive is an
exercise in exploration. Through the act of removing the dirt clinging to the dead wood, this chance to discover the structure of a ‘new’ landscape is possible.

Since January Charli has been sampling, testing and researching the soil of Helsinki and Espoo, looking for similarities and differences in areas in different stages of urban development, in particular Otaniemi and Rastila. The soil has been a source of great intrigue, but whilst collecting samples Charli was constantly battling through thick tree roots, trying to avoid damaging what was beneath her. This has led to a fascination with the roots themselves, their expanse and the underground network that is actively exchanging nutrients throughout the forest is intriguing.

Kivinokka, a forest known for its vast array of species, is a special site because of the amount of dead wood that is left rotting there.

Kivinokka is “[a]n isolated small area of the entire biota [ecology] is threatened today, and especially in will
be in the future. In the past, Kivinokka has been linked to the major forest säalueisiin, which has ensured the
presence of demanding species”.
Kiema, S. and Reima Island Branch, The polypore and Corticiaceae survey of the northern forest area Kivinokka 2006-2007, 2009, City of Helsinki

Kivinokka has been in the centre of a debate over a new housing development. For now it is saved, however we
cannot be sure for how long. This work involves direct interaction with the materials of the forest and hopes to
enable some of the ‘distinctive qualities’ and ‘essential characteristics’ of this ecologically important forest to be
accessed by the viewers of the work.

Charli is a UK artist, currently based in Espoo, Finland,



Marja Meronen


plastic tubes installed on tree stumps

There are no boundaries between reality and imagination, visible and invisible. Choices for positions are given, but in the end everyone defines them themselves. For me finding the boundaries is not as relevant as searching and exploring them. These journeys take place in interaction between the time, place, material and the experiencer.

My realization process is an interlaced discussion between theme and material. Reminiscence produced by the material is often the starting point. In this work, I was intrigued by these fresh tree stumps I found as I was exploring the area. The yellowish flesh as an opening, resin from the roots bleeding, wanting to feed the green there used to be.


Marja Meronen (b. 1971) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. She has Barchelor of arts degree in fine arts in environmental art from Tampere Polytechnic and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in environmental art at Aalto University.

mud man poster basic 1

Mud Man

Mud Man is the woods, nature, streams, birds, insects and sea.

lurking ever present in the mists of the glade

watching, observing.

You may not see him but he sees you,

a presence you cannot deny

always present





_MG_1015 copy

Aleksi Jaakkola


wood, puu 2014

The complexity of nature forms and design is a integral whole. By placing an object in the nature creates a narrative and changes space to new kind of entity.

In this work, something has taken out and then brought back to its natural surrounding. A figurative object, in somewhat, mimicking human appearance, is struggling to get forward from its current state, which direction, that remains viewer’s decision.

Aleksi Jaakkola is Helsinki based artist currently attending MA course of Environmental Art at Aalto University / In my works from photography to installations, the nature and landscape of the north is strongly present. The landscape is a link between the physical and spiritual. Characteristic for my works is a feeling of desolation and space with emptiness, filled with a sense that something has happened, somewhere or that something will happen.


Vinha Jonna 2


Sit Down, Please!

Kivinokkas area is unique environment. I participated in a number of years Kivinokan environmental art exhibitions for the work ”Save the Kivinokka” I am glad that Kivinokka still exists for recreational use, and I want to support the Kivinokka`s mental and moral atmosphere. I will meditate here on site during the exhibition . I hope you are going to try it too. At best, you reach the contact with nature. Sit down, Please!

Vinha Jonna 3Vinha Jonna 1







Vinha Jonna 4 Vinha Jonna 5







Vinha-Jonna lives and works in Helsinki, Oulunkylä`s Ateljee residence house and received her MA degree in Environmental Art from the former University of Art and Design Helsinki, 2007, now part of Aalto University. Earlier she graduated from Art School Maharishi Art Academy (MAA) in Contemporary Art, 1993.

Alise Brante - Kivinokka (2)

Alise Brante

Alise Brante - Kivinokka (3)


Alise Brante - Kivinokka (1)

Aristotle once claimed that nature abhors vacuum. We sometimes rephrase it as – nature doesn´t like voids. So in my work I wanted to show that by placing fir cones in holes of logs which were made by woodpeckers.

Another renamed proverb refers to origins and end, meaning – you become the same matter what you were made from. In this case pencils go back to wood, they become what they were originally made of.


Alise Brante is Riga based artist, graduadet from Art Academy of Latvia and continuing to study Environmental Art in MA programme, having a year in exchange in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Enviornmental Art. She is interested in ecological and recycled art practice and is fascinated by nature´s wonders.


Olli Romppanen


Majakan valo kutsuu tänä kesänä ihmisiä tutustumaan Kivinokkaan – paikkaan, joka säästyi massiiviselta rakentamiselta kaikkien yhteiseksi vihreäksi ja taiteen täyttämäksi olohuoneeksi. Kierrätetyistä kotitaloustarpeista koottu majakka tuikkii pitkälle syksyyn saakka. Rannalla sijaitsevalla sähkötysavaimella kuka tahansa voi lähettää oman viestinsä morseaakkosia käyttäen. Kesän mittaan majakalla järjestetään myös tapahtuma, jossa nautitaan morsetetusta runoudesta.

HUOM! Teos on jouduttu viemään korjattavaksi ilkivallan takia. Majakka vihitään uudelleen käyttöön myöhemmin tänä kesänä runo- ja musiikkitilaisuuden myötä.

Kuva: Popular Science Monthly Volume 3 (1872-1873)

Olli Romppanen (s.1984) opiskelee Aallon taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulun (ent. Taideteollinen korkeakoulu) ympäristötaiteen maisteriohjelmassa. Taiteellisessa työskentelyssään hän on suuntautunut valokuvaan, äänitaiteeseen sekä interaktiiviseen installaatiotaiteeseen. Tänä keväänä hänen teoksiaan on näytteillä Helsingissä Kaapelitehtaalla ja Kivinokassa, Lappeenrannan linnoituksessa sekä kotiseudullaan Haapajärvellä. Vuonna 2012 hän valmistui kasvatustieteen maisteriksi Helsingin yliopistosta. Taiteellisen työskentelyn ohella Olli Romppanen tekee graafista suunnittelua, web-suunnittelua ja opetustyötä sekä toimii tuottajana kulttuurialan produktioissa.

Katarzyna Balcerowska


Cinema captures and frame parts of the reality to organize and compile them through the
editing process also to compose a specific time frame with rhythm.

This project is attempting to recreate the cinematic experience in the natural environment
by using experimental montage techniques. I want to transform nature from an object to a
subject, a storyteller.

The existing natural landscape with film’s still images juxtapoint together would create a
narrative storyline that interpretation would be dependent on the constantly changing
external conditions such as sunlight, weather etc.


Albert Laine

Site specific Sculpture
by Kristina & Albert Laine

The Nature of Change

From forests to capital cities, humans change their environment according to specific needs.
Many of these changes are made with an eye to short term financial profit.

The Nature of Change was born from a tree cut down. In which an abstracted urban city is carved.
Nevertheless, the tooth of time will inevitably decompose the city, and the stories within.















Kristina Laine


The Blind Performance by Kristina Laine

One persons performance is realized with her eyes blinded. The performance is about the distance between human world and the nature. However, the laws of birth and death are unavoidably present in our lives.


Site specific Sculpture

by Kristina & Albert Laine


The Nature of Change

From forests to capital cities, humans change their environment according to specific needs.
Many of these changes are made with an eye to short term financial profit.

The Nature of Change was born from a tree cut down. In which an abstracted urban city is carved.
Nevertheless, the tooth of time will inevitably decompose the city, and the stories within.














kuva 3x

Riikka Aresalo

Fisherman´s Friends

A fisherman had been fishing for many years, and lately, he went to the sea on his own. He knew the fishes, and he knew the waters. The fisherman had already lived for a long time, but his mind was bright and his attitude to life was full of light. However, one day he felt that his condition was not as good as usually, but still, he wanted to follow his daily routine, and went to his boat and rowed to the sea by himself.

Unexpectedly, the fisherman fell off his boat and was suddenly in the water. But, he was a good swimmer, the fisherman. There was no doubt that he couldn´t reach the land. Man swims, he swam a long way towards the shore. Still, just dozens of metres before a landfall, he lost his strength.

Not yet, they wished, not yet.

But he did, he went away and left his hooks and lines for them.

To ej (1937-2014)


Riikka Aresalo lives and works in Helsinki and received her MA degree in Environmental Art from Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, 2012. Earlier she graduated from Art School Maa in Contemporary Art, 2009.

Essi Ehrnrooth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPicture above: Lasse Ehrnrooth 2014

Landscapes are signs of past that connect and collect together important memories, emotional states and persons in my life. When one of these parts of landscape disappears or changes, it slowly tears apart the entire mental image that I have of the landscape and the process is frustrating. Art gives us the way to hold on to these landscapes and storage them before they fade away. Kivinokka area is one of my home landscapes filled with those precious memories. From time to time the area is threatened by large scale master planning, and, time after time, saved by active citizens and preserved as an open public green oasis inside the urban city structure. The installation Nest 2 is part of temporary landscape gestures that I create in order to respect the meaningful environments in my life. These gestures give momentary voice to the beauty and peace of those landscapes and invite us all to pause by the views in a planned manner. My installation frames the view most precious to me; a spot where the busy city cuts the beautiful cottage and wild nature scene. The art work encourages other area visitors to follow me: to photograph a significant view and send it to me electronically afterwards.

Essi Ehrnrooth (b. 1984) is a visual artist and landscape architect from Helsinki, Finland. She graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, from the Department of Architecture in 2010. In autumn 2011 she began master studies in environmental art at Aalto University School of Art and Design, Department of Art. She received a Master’s Degree in Arts in June 2014. Ehrnrooth enjoys multidisciplinary collaboration projects and tries to combine different aspects of art and design into her work, workshops and competition projects. During her studies in environmental art she focused in sculpture through various courses and collaborations with sculptors and hopes to merge this knowledge with landscape architecture in future.

More pictures from the project presented here:


Anastasia Artemeva

Circa 2014 (2014)

The application of a mathematical tool to a geographic feature seeks to question the boundaries between science, wilderness and the human longing to make sense of an environment.

Anastasia Artemeva was born in Russia and raised in Ireland. She graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design in 2012 and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Environmental art in Aalto University, Helsinki.

Artemeva ’s artistic practice employs a variety of media, ranging from photography and sculpture to participatory and curatorial projects. Her creative process questions accessibility, transparency and exclusivity, affected by socio–political, cultural and personal restrictions. Through the juxtaposition of technologies she explores the ephemera of the inevitable control of both the private and the social. The projects are often subtle and, accidently discovered, disclose the possibilities of spaces.


Liisa Ahlfors

Kotikutoinen – Homespun

Disassembled rag rug and iron bed

In the past, Kivinokka was the summer paradise for the working class, where temporal cottages and huts were built for the summer using any material available. At times, when apartments were short of, these huts were the only home for the homeless. Although nowadays permanent ones, Kivinokka is still a place for the city people to spent the summer in their cottages and in nature. It is an unique tradition that have been continuous since the beginning of 20th century.

In the wake of this tradition, I transformed a rag rug and iron bed into a temporal hut of my own for the summer period. These objects, found from dumpsters in Kivinokka, were left there by the residents who had done spring cleaning in their cottages. The work connotes cottage culture and the change in its tradition  reflecting the transition between the history and presence of Kivinokka with its sympathetic and melancholy homespun aesthetics.

Liisa Ahlfors (b. 1985) is a visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. She has graduated from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Fine Art in 2011. Currently she is a first year MA student in environmental art in Aalto University.


Harri Piispanen


Pareidolia – the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.

Human beings seem to be hardwired from birth to identify the human face. From minimal details we can recognize faces from a distance, even in poor visibility. This can also lead to interpreting random images or patterns as recognizable faces.

The work consists of human faces made from clay and installed in various locations around Kivinokka. In the changing weather conditions the faces will gradually dissolve and finally dissappear completely, returning into an unrecognizable part of nature.


Harri Piispanen (b. 1981) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. Graduated from HAMK University of Applied Sciences he is currently finishing his Master’s degree in Environmental art at Aalto University.

Polly Balitro - Transparency

Polly Balitro

Läpinäkyvyys - Transparency

Through my installation I would like to bring to attention the relationship human-nature and its multiple aspects. Transparency is constructed onto various layers: a double-exposed photograph shows a silhouette of a figure entangled in vegetation; the photograph itself, printed on a glass plate and installed in the natural environment, allows the viewer to see through it and admire the landscape behind it. Consequently, the image that the spectator experiences is ultimately a combination of reality and fiction; the original photograph becomes less visible. Whereas the double-exposed photograph represents the ever-growing need for humans to reconnect with nature, the transparency and flimsiness of the glass stand for the actual fragility of our relationship with the natural environment.


Born and raised in Northern Italy, I am currently based in Helsinki, where I have completed an MA degree in environmental art at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Interested in analogue image making and especially inspired by the natural environment, my works are mainly photographic series. Even though photography remains my dearest mean of expression, I sometimes go beyond the mere two-dimensional image with multilayered projects and forms of installation, through which I try to interact with my audience at a deeper level.