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When the tundra blooms

"[Everything] I want to say is a color - it is my element" declared  Reidar Särestöniemi (1925-1981) in 1959. Taiteilijan the use of colors differed from other artists of the time: "I start from a mere sense of color and I want the colors to trigger a person, to believe in the message of the color. Reception of colors for yourself on also important. That's why I walk a lot in nature and watch, vI hide colors inside me and then sometimes I use them." In connection with the use of colors that go beyond the usual and seen, the artist spoke of "the little-known colors of the inner eye"

The colors of all seasons glowed in the forest of Reidar's paintings: in the spring, the pine trees revealed the brown earth of the previous autumn, and the melt waters flowed from the fells to the forest, where the first spring summer's marshes smelled. Borrowed from the Fortum Art Foundation, When the tundra blooms, according to Särestöniemi, it depicted full spring, which, however, also included autumn and winter, the fluttering of falling leaves. With Huurkoivikko motifs, the artist searched for mitigating issues for the coming of winter; the oppressive winter lightened with the beautiful description.

In 1964, Reidar, the "expression of the Nordic region" was awarded the region's cultural award. In addition to arctic nature and mind, Reidar reflected on the roots of his own artistic expression more broadly and noticed similarities in the mental landscapes of different peoples of the world. Experiencing oneself as a part of a large and common movement was confirmed by the repetition of native colors in the world, such as the appearance of brown in Africa in the shell of a turtle.

Although Särestöniemi's work included several color periods, the artist's friend, Brita Polttila, saw a "full sense of nature" as the unifying factor in Reidar's production. Polttila also described Reidar's art as a "poetic adaptation of reality", as could be said of the figure of the sky, a ram and a sky goat bird. A great loss, the fire of the studio home in 1977, changed the artist's thinking about color. The period of new expression was interrupted by Reidar's death in 1981. The white painting sketched by Sano remained unrealized. The white color of that painting had to be so deep that it makes the viewer imagine the horizon - "it forces a person to find a continuation beyond the horizon".

Reidar Särestöniemi: When the tundra blooms (1968). Fortum Art Foundation.

Photo: Särestöniemi Museum.

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