Art at Tampere Hall

Blue Line (1990)

Kimmo Kaivanto (1932–2012) was a highly acclaimed Finnish painter, graphic artist and sculptor.

At Tampere Hall, you can admire Kaivanto's Blue Line, a 200-meter-long piece of environmental art. The piece consists of several parts, but its message lies in the whole: it depicts the spiritual heritage and international character of Europe. Central to it is also the idea of continuity, of the past and future.

Blue Line resembles Kaivanto's Silvery Bridges (1985), a sculpture located in the Forum shopping centre in Helsinki. Though mainly made of concrete, the work comes off as light and airy; in it, arches and mirrors are suspended between two tall blue concrete pillars. The form and details of this work also represent European history.

"Blue Line is a ribbon-like sculpture collage whose purpose is to illustrate a space, a long 'street' along which all the main functions at Tampere Hall are situated. I also tried to bring in a temporal perspective with references to the past and the future; the line has no beginning or end", writes Kaivanto. He also called the work a "clothesline".

"I approached the work as an abstraction, a far-reaching thought where North and South, East and West matter. It is not the work of a painter or a sculptor: it is an abstraction of a creative moment. It is both a journey and Tampere Hall's events at the same time."
Kimmo Kaivanto, artist

The main material of Blue Line is blue concrete. The piece features elements rising from the floor: interconnected by black and blue tiles, they show signs related to the history of the Western society, echoes of fossils and of drawings made on tiles in the classical period. In addition, the tiles carry names of significant historical figures such as Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Cicero, Bach, Mozart, Sibelius and Mannerheim.

It was Kaivanto's wish that people would walk on the tiles so that their grooves would eventually fill with the dirt from their shoes. Located in the Entrance Hall, Blue Line is a unique piece of environmental art. When Tampere Hall was first built, Blue Line was a central feature in its marketing communications. It is still Tampere Hall’s defining feature.

1. The Bow of the Muse

This sculpture stands in the middle of the hallway, welcoming all visitors to Tampere Hall and pointing them in the right direction. The Bow of the Muse was inspired by Renaissance artists like Botticelli (1445–1510).

2. The Temple

The Temple is all about directions: it is a double gate one can pass through in all four directions, and it is at the intersection of lines running north-south and east-west. From The Temple, there is a clear view of the white line of Aaltosenkatu Street, and the cross axis overlooks Tampere Hall longitudinally. Kaivanto wrote "Shadows from Knossos" on one of his sketches of this work.

3. The Moving Column

"There are countless columns in the Tampere Hall that all serve a clear function, but this column carries nothing. In a way, it is always moving, and so it functions as an 'aiming point', whose 'slot' is the Temple's colonnade. Using it, we look and gaze into eternity," says the artist.

4. The Surfaces

"Here, Blue Line rises from the floor and moves at a right angle, forming three separate elements: distant echoes from a classical meander. [A meander is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, popular in applied arts and architecture. –ed.] I would like to see these elements in everyday use: they provide a surface for concert programmes, brochures or cocktails," envisions Kaivanto. "I hope people will put their drinks on the surface and touch the bronze goblets. That way, their hands will give them a new kind of a sheen."

5. The One Who Rests

At this point, Blue Line does not rise high above the floor. Its motion is horizontal, and the tangible scenic rise and fall represents rest. It also represents goodbye or farewell, the night and sleep. On one of his sketches, Kaivanto wrote, "The colour rests, the colour listens."

6. Brook

Brook is a scenic sculpture in which white and blue concrete (the sky) and bronze (the earth) meet. Through the hole in the bronze section, water runs down the sculpture into a basin. The effect of running water on the untreated bronze is unpredictable: it is a "natural process", an integral part of the piece.

7. The One Who Listens

"The upright form is an abstract idea that illustrates the ascending movement of the tiles. This leaves room for association. In Tampere Hall, people listen and are heard."

Several sketches of Blue Line hang in Tampere Hall.

Ring Finger (1990)

Teemu Saukkonen's art is highly physical: he favours collages, lively blocks of colour and large works of art. His stunning wall relief, crafted from pine and painted a beautiful blue colour, can be seen in the foyer of the Small Auditorium.

The Curtain (1990)

On display in the Main Auditorium, The Curtain was designed by textile artist Irma Kukkaisjärvi and woven by the Friends of Finnish Handicraft organisation: namely Outi Hägg, Sara Moisio, Ullapauliina Telimaa, Marita Mattson, Marjatta Mäkäräinen, Kaisa Ruokonen and Riitta Viilola. The Curtain features a total of 13 vibrant colours; the yarn was dyed by Pirkanmaan Kotityö. Creation of the piece took six months, from spinning the wool to the weaving.

Construction 1 and 2 (1990)

Matti Kujasalo is a Finnish painter and graphic artist based in Helsinki.

His two metal sculptures are constructed in the two light wells, and they represent the same idea as the entire building. The growing movement of these metal works creates a fascinating contrast to the otherwise simple stone.

Pierced by the Sun's Spear (1987)

Timo Sarpaneva is a Finnish artist and professor who enjoys international acclaim and is especially well-known for his industrial arts design. His favourite materials are glass and metal.

Sarpaneva’s unique glass sculpture Pierced by the Sun's Spear is made of clear, white and black glass standing on a base of granite.


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Page last modified 02/22/13 09:16:29