MYSTICAL GARDEN – photographs by Veijo Rönkkönen

Veijo Rönkkönen

June 10th – Oct 9th 2023

Finland's best-known work of ITE art is the result of more than 50 years of artistic endeavour by Veijo Rönkkönen (1944–2010). The statues and the lush garden rich with different species form an entity that is one of the most important artistic creations achieved by one person, even on an international scale. The 560 concrete statues depicting a wide spectrum of expressions and subjects attract annually tens of thousands of visitors to the Statue Park from around the world.

Veijo Rönkkönen is famous for his sculptures of his Statue Park in Koitsanlahti Parikkala. The maker of the sculptures was also an eager and enthusiastic photographer. During 1993–1995 Rönkkönen took hundreds of double exposure photographs with his film camera. In his first shots he photographed himself against an illuminated gauze in the sauna cabin doorway. According to his notes, the second exposure happened either on the same day or very quickly after it. In this second round he photographed both the garden plants as well as the sculptures in the Yoga Park, a part of the Statue Park consisting of 255 statues in yoga poses. He also took some scenery photographs, e.g. of Siikalahti, a significant bird wetland nearby.

The pictures of the exhibition in Lappeenranta Art Museum have been selected by Kimmo Heikkilä and Atte Paju. They have also designed the exhibition. The sounds are by Tony Gerber.