Maria Huhmarniemi

I came across a contemporary Finnish artist, Maria Huhmarniemi, who makes enormous himmeli-installations (among many other things) - they are really impressive and beautiful.

Here is what she says about her himmeli - quite interesting:

"I started making the series of Himmeli-sculptures in reaction to a comment in 2011 by the True Finns Party, proposing that only Finnish nationalistic fine arts should be supported by the Finnish state. They admired fine arts from the period of National Romanticism, (the Golden Age of Finnish art), but ignored the fact that Finnish art has always been influenced by other countries and cultures. Himmeli is a traditional Finnish decorative mobile. It is made from short strips of rye straw tied together with string to form a complex and symmetrical three-dimensional structure. It is used as Christmas decoration that hangs over dining tables in many Finnish homes. What is less well known is that the origin of himmeli is thought to be a canopy decoration used in Medieval and Renaissance festivities in Central-Europe. The word himmeli has origins in the Swedish and German language: ‘himmel’ means ‘sky and heaven’. I began making Himmeli-sculptures by extending traditional decorations that my mother made from rye and lake straws. I morphed these symmetric forms into free and wild sculptures using coloured plastic drinking straws."

Here is some of her fantastic work:

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