Artistic Research Project on Local Espoo Soil

The Working with Soil group began the artistic research project on local Espoo soil in June. The group made three “earth walks” in the city of Espoo 2021. The first of the walkings was took place in Sorlampi Nature Trail (Sorlammen luontopolku) in Nuuksio. The second one happened in North Espoo within the route from southeast Saarijärvi to Iso Majaslampi through Espoo’s highest point Mustavuori. The group took the final walk in an urban environment from Matinkylä to the vicinity of EMMA. The soil samples that were collected during these three “earth walks” were processed in the ceramic workshop of Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture. They were also measured for heavy metals at Aalto University School of Engineering. The slips made from local soil were applied on iron-rich Somero earthenware. These test pieces were fired at 3 different temperatures.

Artistic Research Wall

Artistic Research Wall is an evolving work that is showcased in EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art) as a part of Särkyvää / Ceramics Facing the New Exhibition (03.05.2021 – 07.08.2022). The work unfolds the process of the Artistic Research Project on Local Espoo Soil. On the wall the whole process of gathering, processing, and using soil as a craft medium is shown through photos, soil samples, fired/unfired test pieces, hand-drawn maps, color samples, diaries, etc. In addition to process-based materials, Maarit Mäkelä’s three Earth Paintings made by local soil, Catharina Kajander’s coiled pot painted with local soil, and the sound piece Maannos by Mikko Haapoja and Noora Kauppila are exhibited as outcomes of the project.

Artistic Research Project on Local Espoo Soil, EMMA. Photo: Maarit Mäkelä.
Maannos-Topsoil by Mikko Haapoja and Noora Kauppila.