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The art competition organized by Kangas Service Ltd to choose artwork for Kankaanaukio (Kangas square) has now ended. The competition winner is Haikara (Stork), designed by Teija and Pekka Isorättyä.
Haikaraa esittävä taideteos

Haikara also overwhelmingly won the public vote, so the prize amount for the winners rose to 7,000 EUR. The actual prize amount is 6,000 EUR, and the public vote's winner will receive 1,000 EUR. Haikara received a total of 70 votes in the public vote. A total of 150 votes were counted. An accordance with the jury's proposal, Kangas Service Ltd took the decision to select the proposal for the implementation planning phase.

Isorättyä artists are originally from Tornio. They were nominated for the Ars Fennica award in 2017. The artists are known for their kinetic sculptures and experimental works that combine mechanics and electronics, such as their hand-built robots that walk on a rollator. Since then, they have presented numerous public artworks around Finland, often featuring an animal figure.

The award committee considered the Haikara proposal of a high standard. The work plays with scale and takes over Kankaanaukio well. Haikara, as a central element of stormwater retention pond, makes the stormwater retention pond look like a picturesque wetland. The scale of the work is in harmony with the surrounding construction. The artwork has been designed professionally. They came up with a solution on how the work could be realised above the ground, which was originally prohibited by the competition rules due to the underground structures of the area. Incorporating foundations into stormwater retention basin structures, is an insightful and feasible solution.

The work's use of material and execution method is spectacular, and the structure of the large-scale sculpture has been lightened with an execution method that allows daylight to pass through. The height of the work has been well taken into account so that vehicles and plowing equipment can pass under without causing any damage. The artwork serves as a landmark for Kankaanaukio and supports the events taking place in the area. The work is designed with lighting in mind and can therefore be seen at all times of the day and year. 

Famous artists behind the award-winning proposals

The award committee unanimously decided to award the second prize, 4,000 EUR, to the Arkkipelago proposal designed by Tuula Närhinen. The award committee found the use of country brick as a material to be visually beautiful and suitable for the Kangas profile, so the work communicates well with the surrounding construction. The work proposal was considered sufficiently large in scale with Kankaanaukio. What was pleasing about the artwork is it's extension to Rullakuja alley, which covers the series of spaces formed by the square and Rullakuja. Närhinen often deals with nature and natural phenomena in her artworks. She is also an acclaimed as a  creator of public art. Närhinen is currently planning a public artwork for Ahvenisto Hospital in Hämeenlinna.

Maatiilistä tehty taideteos Kankaanaukiolla

The committee also decided to award the third prize, 2,000 EUR, to the Kielletty Alue (Forbidden area) proposal, designed by Nestori Syrjälä. The work proposal was considered courageous, experimental, and anarchistic by nature. The work proposal had a great idea to bring wild nature and randomness into a well-defined built environment. We can see the references to the Tourujoki nature reserve in the artwork. The fence structure itself is an interesting sculptural element. Syrjälä's artworks consist of themes related to ecological crises and alternative futures. He uses different media, such as installations and videos. He has presented numerous works of public art, such as the Kiasma art competition-winning piece, Running man.

Aidoilla rajattu alue aukiolla

Kankaanaukio (Kangas square) is the most important event venue in the Kangas area

Kankaanaukio will be the most significant square in Kangas, where people live, meet, and organize annual events, some of which will be arranged by the residents themselves.

The implementation of the sculpture will be coordinated with the construction schedule of Kankaanaukio and the surrounding buildings. Construction of the artwork will start in 2024 at the earliest. The artwork will be ready between 2024 and 2026.

The awarded designs in the competition are presented as an online exhibition. Check out the online exhibition on the website of Kangasverkko.

More information and request for the images:

Kirsi Pitkänen, Art coordinator of Kangas region,
Tel: +358 (0)50-338 7705,

Ulla-Maija Valtonen, Kangas Service LTD executive director,
Tel: +358 (0)50-527 6703,