FOREST CAMP

Forest Camp

Forest Camp is a collective of five visual artists living in Finland.



NEWS!

An exhibition celebrating 25 years of Forest Camp is held in Voipaala Art Center in Valkeakoski, Finland 8.6.-1.9.2024. A part of recent works the exhibition will showcase a broad selection of Forest Camp art created since 1998.



SLECTED PROJECTS / WORKS 2024 - 1998:

A pop up Kakutus sandcastle action happened and new works were made during a three day Forest Camp retreat in summer 2023 at Rokansaari Island, Lake Saimaa.

A pop up Kakutus sandcastle action happened during a three day Forest Camp retreat in summer 2023 at Rokansaari Island, Lake Saimaa.

Kakutus at Rokansaari Island, 2023


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Eternal Campfire by Forest Camp, 2021


The Eternal Camp Fire, 2021

The Eternal Campfire is an immaterial work of art that draws its power from the imagination of the person who sees it. The work invites you to stop for a moment and imagine that a campfire is burning.
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The Eternal Camp Fire gets its fuel from ancient and modern stories, cultures, immateriality, and collective consciousness.
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Powered by imagination, the work is ecological and maintenance-free, and it is understood across cultural boundaries.
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According to researchers, the art of building fires was an essential factor in the spread of humanity to new settlements. A campfire is a small structure with an open hearth, built into the ground and burning with flames. A campfire can be used for example to cook food and for heating. In addition to cooking and keeping warm, sitting around a campfire is also a social occasion where friends and family members can relax and chat and discuss topics such as life issues in a natural way.

It is also a place where intergenerational "chatter" can be passed on from parent to child. Often the stories heard around the campfire are based on a real event, which over time is shaped by the imagination of the storytellers and listeners. Imagination is considered to be the closest thing to a human characteristic that helps them to cope with their environment based on what they have learned in the past. Imagination helps us to perceive different aspects of life. The knowledge that is structured by imagination may itself be partly imaginary, i.e. it may be based on other aspects of life, a product of the imagination.



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A Sculpture for Insects, Myllypuro, Helsinki, 2020


A Sculpture for Insects, Myllypuro, Helsinki, 2020.

The Villa Nova community artwork which was created by the Forest Camp artist collective in 2006 for the ARS 06 exhibition was remade into a Sculpture for Insects in spring 2020.

Background:

Villa Nova (renamed as Sanerva koti) was a housing community for “socially challenged groups” located in Myllypuro, a suburb of East Helsinki. The dormitory was closed in autumn 2005 due to renovations and the inhabitants were moved to a temporary accommodation in Kallio district in Helsinki.

In August 2006 as part of the ARS06 exhibition a communal art project was initiated by the Deaconess Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. One of the purposes of the project was to create an environmental work of art at Villa Nova. The artist collective Forest Camp was selected to work on the project by Kiasma. The art work, which was named Villa Nova, was carried out by Forest Camp together with the residents of the dormitory. It was seen in the Rear window in Kiasma and also as an environmental art work in Myllypuro. The central element of the outdoor installation was a nearly six-meter-long piece of log furniture.

A detail of Villa Nova artwork by Forest Camp, Helsinki Finland, 2006


The finalised Villa Nova installation documented in 2006

Already when Villa Nova was created in Myllypuro, it was clear that the timber used for the artwork would deteriorate over time. Forest Camp the Deaconess Foundation and Kiasma agreed that instead of renovating the logs, the alternative could be for Forest Camp to develop the work in a completely new direction.

The elements of Villa Nova are starting to deteriorate

A detail of the deteriorating Villa Nova artwork in spring 2020.

In recent years, there have been alarming messages from biologists around the world that the pollinators are disappearing. The reduction in the number of pollinators is a global problem and people have tried to help insects survive for example by building artificial shelters for them.

Forest Camp addresses this issue in A Sculpture for Insects by making art in collaboration with insects. Insects help the artists in creating the artwork and in return get a place to live.



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Kakutus sandcastle action happened around Helsinki in 2019 as a part of Sculpture Expanded project. The project was produced by The Association of Finnish Sculptors.

The main locations for Kakutus were: Hietaniemi beach and Aurinkolahti beach.

Additional pop up Kakutus actions happened at Suomenlinna beach, Pihlajasaari island, Lauttasaari beach and Vallisaari.

Kakutus, Hietaniemi Beach, Helsinki, Finland, 2019

Kakutus at Hietaniemi Beach, 2019

Kakutus, AurinkolahtiBeach, Helsinki, Finland, 2019

Kakutus at Aurinkolahti Beach, 2019





Pop up Kakutus action Lauttasaari beach, Helsinki


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A pop up Kakutus sandcastle action happened at the Haukanhieta beach during a two day Forest Camp retreat at Helvetinjärvi national park.

Kakutus, Haukanhieta beach, Helvetinjärvi, Finland, 2018

A pop up Kakutus at Haukanhieta beach, 2018

Kakutus, Haukanhieta beach, Helvetinjärvi, Finland, 2018

Buckets for work and water


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Exhibited in Time After Current Time at Gallery Lapinlahti in Helsinki, 8 July - 13 August, 2017

Gallery Lapinlahti was situated in a building originally designed in 1841 by the German, Helsinki based architect Carl Ludvig Engel to host the Lapinlahti psychiatric hospital. Aleksis Kivi and Jean Sibelius's sister Linda are some of the most notable ex-residents of the hospital. Open Window was a readymade consisting of a closed window in the exhibition space. Because it was hot during the exhibition the window had to be ocasionally kept open.

Open Window by Forest Camp in Time After Current Time at Gallery Lapinlahti in Helsinki, 2017. .


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5000m2 art project, intitiated by Jouko Lempinen, took over the entire Lappeenranta Old City Theatre building before it was demolished in 2016. Forest Camp was among the over 100 artists or artist groups who were given free hands to interact with the building.

L'odeur de l'espace was a mixture of nostalgic fragrances lingering in a corridoor of the defunkt theatre building during its grand finale.

L'odeur de l'espace, 5000m2, Lappeenranta, 2016

L'odeur de l'espace, 5000m2, Lappeenranta, 2016


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Forest Camp members were visiting Casa Carvonen residency in Pioppi in Campania region, Italy. The Kakutus-sand sculpture action happened on the beach of the near by Acciaroli town.

Acciaroli, Italy
, 2014

Kakutus, Acciaroli, Italy, 2014


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Honor Your Father and Mother, XVI Mänttä Art Festival , Mänttä, Finland, 2011

During Haaste Sculpture project in Tampere in 2003 Forest Camp was accomodated for a week in the Pallander house in an flat attached to the atelier where artist Hugo Simberg lived in 1904–1905 while decorating Tampere Cathedral with his controversial murals.

One evening after returning from work, several different objects, an iron bar, a toaster and a watermelon were in turn placed under a carpet of the flat. It was not quite clear why it was done but some how it felt a meaningfull process.

Eight years later in 2011 when Forest Camp was invited by Curator Otso Kantokorpi to participate in The Mänttä Art Festival and discussing what could be done in this context the mystical carpet-method seemed to provide the answer.

A Iron Bar Under a Carpet, Honor Your Father and Mother, XVI Mänttä Art Festival , Mänttä, Finland, 2011.




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Söderlångvik Museum, exhibition hall, 2010

A dialogue between nature and art.

The autumn before the exhibition Forest Camp placed a dozen salt lick stones in the forests near the Söderlångvik Museum. Salt lick stones are blocks of salt that farmers place in pastures for livestock to lick or forest rangers place in forest for helping the wild animals to survive. The salt attracts most of the animals, especially deer and moose, to lick it which causes it to be worn down to new forms reminiscent of modernist sculpture.

The salt sculpture were exhibited along with charcoal drawings on paper and cloth. The drawings were made around a camp fire during a few days retreat by the famous Söderlångvik Manor apple orchards.

Salt Lick, 2010

Salt Lick, 2010

Salt Lick, 2010


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FC08, Perfume by Forest Camp, 2008

Forest Camp constructed a perfume with a special experience of a scent. All FC08 was sealed in ampules which remain as artefacts with an purely conseptual sillage.

FC08, Perfume by Forest Camp, 2018


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Forest Camp was invited to participate in a Art School MAA project which took place in Nokia park in Helsinki. Nokia park was a small derelict plot of waste land in Helsinki which was cleaned up by the MAA students and is now turning into a place for artistic events and concerts.

FC Nokia park 2007 is a wine made out of the sap of the Birch trees growing in the park. The sap was collected before the park was cleaned and the wine was ready for consumption at the opening party of the Nokia park-project. Some botles of Nokia Park 2007 were sealed and remain as artworks and cultural artefacts.

Nokia Park 2007, Helsinki.

Nokia Park 2007, Helsinki


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Pihlajasaari, Terrortory, MUU, Helsinki, 2006

Kakutus-sand sculpture action happened in Pihlajasaari. The work took all night and was completed in the morning just before the first tourist boat arrived on the island.

Kakutus, Helsinki
, 2006

Kakutus, Helsinki
, 2006

Kakutus, Helsinki
, 2006

Kakutus, Helsinki
, 2006


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In August 2006 as part of the ARS06 exhibition a communal art project was initiated by the Deaconess Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. One of the purposes of the project was to create an environmental work of art at Villa Nova a hostel for marginalized men which was maintained by the Deaconess Foundation. The artist collective Forest Camp was selected to work on the project by Kiasma. The art work, which was named Villa Nova, was carried out by Forest Camp in collaboration with the residents of the dormitory. It was exhibited in the Rear window in Kiasma as an installation and also as an environmental art work next to the hostel in Myllypuro. The central element of the outdoor installation in Myllypuro was a nearly six-meter-long piece of log furniture.

Villa Nova, Helsinki, 2006

Villa Nova, Helsinki, 2006

Villa Nova, Helsinki, 2006

Villa Nova, Helsinki, 2006

Villa Nova, Helsinki, 2006




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The Finnish Institute Madrid, Spain, 2003

An installation including sand sculptures and a 30 min video documentation of a poster on the wall of Kultapalmu bar in Kallio, Helsinki.

Kulta Palmu / Palma d'Oro, Mardid, 2003

Kulta Palmu/ Palma d'Oro, Mardid, 2003

Kulta Palmu / Palma d'Oro, Mardid, 2003




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Haaste City Art Project, Tampere, 2003

Five tons of concrete was cast in to a pit dug on a pedestrian road in Tampere. Before the concrete dried, a camp fire was burned on top of it. One of the organizers of Haaste, drove twice over the artwork with her bicycle as she was trying to find it. The sculpture was named Walk of Fame after its famous counterpart in Hollywood.

Walk of Fame, Haaste City Art Project, Tampere, 2003

Walk of Fame, Haaste City Art Project, Tampere, 2003

Walk of Fame, Haaste City Art Project, Tampere, 2003

Walk of Fame, Haaste City Art Project, Tampere, 2003


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Mohni International Live Arts project, Mohni Estonia, 2003

During one week on the island of Mohni FC made three works:

1. FC Mohni

A red mooring buoy was placed on the best mooring point of Mohni island.

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

2. A String For Swallows

After the Soviet troops retrieved they took down all the electric cables from the buildings by the Mohni lighthouse. A String For Swallows was hung for the remaining population of swallows.

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003

3. Sauna

A smoke sauna was built from scrap found on the island.

Forest Camp Mohni, 2003


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The park of Zvartava Manor, Latvia, 2002

Latvian artist union invited Forest Camp to visit Zartava Manor in the historical region of Vidzeme, northern Latvia. The house was built in 1881 in Tudor Neo-Gothic style.

A broken bench in the park near the Manor was burned at night and replaced the next day by a new bench made in tudor style.

Tudor Style, Zvartava Castle park, Latvia, 2002

Tudor Style, Zvartava Castle park, Latvia, 2002

Tudor Style, Zvartava Castle park, Latvia, 2002

Tudor Style, Zvartava Castle park, Latvia, 2002

Tudor Style, Zvartava Castle park, Latvia, 2002

Sculpture created with shou sugi ban process from poplar clogs. Made during the night spent by the camp fire.


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Polis, Titanik, Turku, 2001

During the Polis city sculpture-project a concrete element for making wells was heated by burning two cubic meters of birch firewood in it. The burning took over 24 hours.

Ping Pong, Polis, Titanik, Turku, 2001

Ping Pong, Polis, Titanik, Turku, 2001

Ping Pong, Polis, Titanik, Turku, 2001


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Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000

Linna Galleri (City Gallery) was made smaller by building new walls inside the exhibition space. As the new walls were 1m inwards from the old ones everybody visiting the gallery felt a bit bigger than before.

King Kong by Forest Camp, Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000

King Kong by Forest Camp, Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000

King Kong by Forest Camp, Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000

King Kong by Forest Camp, Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000

King Kong by Forest Camp, Linna Galleri, Tallinn, Estonia, 2000


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Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki, 1998

Works based on the first FC sessions.

Forest Camp, Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki, 1998

Forest Camp, Gallery Kari Kenetti, Helsinki, 1998


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Lusto, Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, 1998

The first time Forest Camp worked as a group. During two weeks the artists made several site specific art works including the first kakutus sandcastle actions and fireplace sessions.

Forest Camp, Lusto, Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, 1998

Forest Camp, Lusto, Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, 1998

Forest Camp, Lusto, Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, 1998

Forest Camp, Lusto, Finnish Forest Museum, Punkaharju, 1998


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contact: fc(at)forestcamp(dot)info

Instagram: @kakutus_fc


A text on KAKUTUS by curator and critic Pontus Kyander:

A recipe for Sand Cakes