Finland. The Most Surreal Place


“The inhuman place makes human monsters”
(Stephen King)

Somebody can tell you about powerful places, where they can found inspiration and motivation. But who will tell you about scary, strange places? The spots where you could feel the creeping fear of vampires and werewolves, maniacs and monsters. I’m gonna do it. And I want to tell you about Parikkala Sculpture Park – the most surreal place in Finland.

What do you know about parks in general? A lot of people will say, that it’s about trees, grass, alleys and other ordinary things. But, what about Parikkala Sculpture Park? It’s certainly an unusual and weird place.

Short description: 560 concrete statues and a magnificent garden. It is located in Eastern Finland, near the border with Russia.

It is free to visit, but donations are accepted to help maintain the ‘surrealistic works of art.’ In 2015, according to the American magazine Conde Nast Traveler, the park got into the top twenty of the most frightening tourist spots.

Something about the author: from the age of 16 Veijo Rönkkönen worked at a paper mill in Simpel as a press maker and in his free time, he created his own park.  He worked on the site of some half a hectare for nearly 50 years. His hard work resulted in about 550 concrete statues and a magnificent garden. The young Veijo Rönkkönen was known to be very guarded. Art-making was his way of communicating with the outside world; he did not dare to venture out into the world but instead invited the world to come and see him.

Many pieces are barely disguised as self-portraits of the artist. Rönkkönen’s Yoga Park consists of 250 figures in various yoga positions, each reminiscent of the artist. He once said that the park was a monument for the memory of his young body.

Rönkkönen worked on various and changing themes for years and some of his groups of sculptures include dozens of individual works. Exotic subjects, animals, plant sculptures, and people from alien cultures give the site an unreal ambiance. A row of caricature figures flank the driveway and form a distorted mirror-image of the public walking in the garden. The park with its visitors becomes a carnival where a weird or surprising work of art is a natural part of the whole.

A strange fact (but in this story all facts are strange): since 1974 Veijo Rönkkönen began to use artificial teeth for statues. So, in the statue ‘Javelin thrower’ he used the false jaw of his father, who died in 1975.

There is almost no information about the sculptor and his robots, most likely this is due to the closed nature of the artist.

Finns have a proverb «Meri näkee, metsä kuulee», that literally translates as «The sea sees, the forest hears». The same can be said about sculptures in this park. Many travellers say that when you are there, you get the feeling that these statues also see, hear, and ready to chase you at any moment. It frightens a bit and you start feeling goosebumps with every hair standing up your head…

BTW, if you like weird places made by not less weird people – go to the Parikkala Sculpture Park! Who knows, maybe it will become your own spooky-flueky and flunky-chunky place of power…

Залишити відповідь

Ваша e-mail адреса не оприлюднюватиметься. Обов’язкові поля позначені *

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: seo service | Thanks to seo company, web designers and internet marketing company