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Desert Blossoms

Valmed ry's group exhibition ALLterations,
Gallery Värinä, Rovaniemi 2019;
VB Photographic Centre, Kuopio 2020;
Centrala Gallery, Birmingham, UK 2020-21



The materials of the artwork Desert Blossoms was shot in late 2018 in the Karoo semidesert in Sutherland, South Africa. I visited there an observatory area where international research is being conducted on space, climate and weather. The area is managed by the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), whose director Petri Väisänen is a Finn, there are researchers from around the world and data is being despatched digitally to all directions. International collaboration produces information for being used by all countries. The observatory and radio telescopes are situated in the middle of nowhere, beyond reach of light pollution.


 My photo patchwork consists of images printed on weather-proof material (78 x 78 cm, 2019). The composition transforms according to the place and the space available. Below some pieces of the patchwork.

Desert Blossoms / Aloe

Desert Blossoms / Daisy

Desert Blossoms / Tree Planting


I also took photos on the small town of Sutherland and life in it. Both white and coloured people work in the town. The area attracts travellers interested in environment from near and far.

Desert Blossoms / Ruins

Desert Blossoms / Sutherland Town

Desert Blossoms / Wonder Flower


My photo patchwork was on display in Valmed ry's ALLterations exhibitions in Gallery Värinä in Rovaniemi in 2019 and in Kuopio's VB Photographic Centre in 2020. I composed the work according to the place and space. Five artists participated in the smaller Värinä, twelve in the bigger premises of VB.

In the VB exhibition, Messages to Future-Beings were gathered from the visitors.
The artists, too, wrote their messages; mine attached below.

Climate change is not a matter of faith but knowledge. Older generation will get away from being scorched in this hell on earth. Youth can save our ball in space and life on it: INSECTS, PLANTS, TREES, ANIMALS, PEOPLE. And bring about paradise on earth. Knowledge, morale, empathy as well as courage to think and act is needed in it. VIVA YOUTH!
P.S. How do you intend to live?


The exhibition tour continued to the Centrala Gallery in Birmingham, UK, in early December 2020. Due to the corona lockdown the gallery was closed, but an introduction video made about the exhibition can be seen in Youtube and a photographic documentation in Facebook.

Desert Blossoms to the right, next Maria Kärkkäinen's photographic works, to the left Heli Mannisenmäki's photographic and drawing works. Photograph by Ian Davies / Centrala.


Desert Blossoms in Centrala Gallery. Photo Ian Davies / Centrala.