Photo Suomen valokuvataiteen museo (c) Sanni Seppo: Jatkuvuus

Ritva Kovalainen & Sanni Seppo

Mikonkatu 1, Kämp Galleria, 00100 Helsinki
The Finnish Museum of Photography K1

Ritva Kovalainen & Sanni Seppo: Forests of the North Wind

Ritva Kovalainen & Sanni Seppo: Forests of the North Wind

Forests of the North Wind is the final part of a forest trilogy based on research through photographic art by Ritva Kovalainen and Sanni Seppo, culminating their three decades of work on forest themes. The first two parts of the trilogy were Tree People (1997), an exploration into Finnish forest mythology, and Silvicultural Operations (2009), which highlighted the downsides of forestry.

Forests of the North Wind portrays Finnish natural forests as diverse spaces and states of being that sustain life. It depicts the rich ecosystems that northern coniferous forests are at their best. The exhibition also illustrates how forest habitats are becoming threatened and being lost.

A natural forest means a forest that still retains its diversity-sustaining characteristics. Trees of various ages and species maintain biodiversity. Natural forests are biotic communities formed by thousands of plants, fungi, animals, protists, archaeans and bacteria.

The majority of the forests have been transformed by intensive forestry into something fundamentally different from what they would be naturally. Only around 1% of Finnish forests are in their natural state, that is, untouched. There are still slightly more forests left where the impacts of human activity have not decisively changed their natural structure and species composition. These, too, are still disappearing due to logging.

Most of the photographs in the exhibition were taken in protected areas near Finland’s eastern border ranging from North Karelia to Lapland. Elsewhere in Finland, only small, isolated fragments of natural forest have survived.

The exhibition urges to recognise the difference between a natural forest and a commercial forest – to use modifier words when talking about forests, as the tendency to only talk generically about forests prevents from seeing the true state of forest habitats.

Finnish Museum of Photography, K1


Mon-Fri 11.00-20.00

Sat-Sun 11.00-18.00

Admission fee 12/6€, under 18 yrs free entry