Pehmeetä touhua

Nordic Outsider Craft

Craft Museum of Finland 28.4. – 2.12.2018

Couple of hundred kilograms of massive-knit made of plastic bags, free crochet wolf hybrid, 60 pieces of needlepoint of Swedish districts. In addition, a handicraft enthusiast Anna with her sheep Lassi, a fifty-kilogram yarn ball and aphorisms twisted of iron wire. These are a preview of the works in the Pehmeetä touhua exhibition.

Welcome to the exhibition opening on Friday April 27 at 18.00.
Artist Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen opens the exhibition.
Magnus Östling from the Inuti Studio in Stockholm represents the artists taking part in the exhibition.

One can dive into the massive-knit installation by Danish Kenneth Rasmussen and Icelandic Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir’s tightly packaged dolls tempt to play with them. The light bulb tiles by Norwegian Torstein Nilsen are conversing smoothly with miniatures inside the light bulbs that are made by Samuli Sarkkila from Raahe. Lauri Mäkäräinen has made series of skillful wooden sculptures of celebrities, whereas Swedish Magnus Östling respects his homeland by the series of needlepoint works about the different corners of the country with their special characteristics. In addition, the textile works by the Kellokoski Princess Anna Lappalainen are seen in the exhibition. The exhibition features works from nearly 40 artist, half of which are from Finland and the other half from other Nordic countries.

Pehmeetä touhua shows what happens when handicraft does not follow the conventional rules, but goes wild with the joy of techniques and materials. However, self-expression goes hand in hand with the esteem of uncompromising skill and diligence that are required from the practicer of slow and laborious handicraft techniques. The techniques of the works range from soft textiles to ceramics and wood sculpting.

The exhibition of outsider art in the Craft Museum of Finland challenges the verges of creativity and promotes the expressive power of handicraft techniques, the daring and the self-expression of the individual. Pehmeetä touhua exhibition breaks the boundaries of handicraft tradition and surprises the audience by revealing craft based outsider art from the Nordic countries.

Pehmeetä touhua defends soft values in art. Outsider art refers to such margins in art as self-taught artists and artists with disabilities. The exhibition declares that art belongs to everyone, and that there is not a single way to make works of art. Everybody has an equal right to express themselves with visual arts and creative artistic handicrafts. Attention has been paid also to the accessibility of information materials and related events. In the exhibition, there are films, in which the artists tell about their art.

The curators of the exhibition are Art researcher Minna Haveri and Curator Elina Vuorimies from K. H. Renlund museum.

Nordic Outsider Craft project

Pehmeetä touhua exhibition in the Craft Museum of Finland is the first and the main exhibition in the wider Nordic Outsider Craft project, which presents Nordic outsider craft. After Jyväskylä the exhibition travels to all the Nordic countries as a smaller curated composition and finally ends up in the K.H. Renlund Museum in Kokkola.

The project is based on a strong Nordic partnership network. The project and exhibition tour are administered by the K.H. Renlund Museum in Kokkola. In addition to the Craft Museum of Finland the partners are Norwegian Trastad Collections in Borkenes, Danish Bifrost Art School and Studio in Randers, Swedish Inuti Foundation in Stockholm and Icelandic Safnasafnið Museum in Akureyri. Additionally, as a guardian and networker for artists with learning disabilities and experts and professionals in the field the Kettuki Art Centre offers the project its expertise on art by disabled people.

The Nordic Outsider Craft project was started with the help of OPSTART grant from the Cultural Foundation. Later it has been supported by the foundation’s HANDMADE themed funding and by the help of the Swedish Cultural Foundation.

The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Foundation and the Nordic Culture Point have assisted the curator visits. The Uusimaa Regional Fund has supported the production of the part of the exhibition presenting the art embroidery by the Kellokoski Princess Anna Lappalainen.


Gurli M. Hansen
Kenneth Rasmussen

Brit Lisbeth Johnsen
Herleik Kristiansen
Torstein Nilsen
Wenche Nilsen

Camilla Holmqvist
Chang Im Ohlson
Sara Saremi
Patricia Sigurd
Magnus Östling

Pálína Erlendsdóttir
Ragnar Hermansson
Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir
Guðjón R. Sigurðsson
Svava Skúladóttir

Eivor Bennort
Paul Gustafsson
Vilho Halmekari
Seppo Inkinen
Kellokosken prinsessa
Rikhard Koivisto
Alpo Koivumäki
Elisa Kärjä
Seppo Laatunen
Henna Laulainen
Torsten Lundmark
Lauri Mäkäräinen
Aleksi Pietikäinen
Jyri Rastas
Matti Rauhaniemi
Mirjami Rautio
Miia Ruohonen
Samuli Sarkkila
Eini Saukkonen
Helinä Savonen
Johanna Seppä

More information

Minna Haveri, Art researcher, minna.haveri (at), tel. 040 821 4217
Elina Vuorimies, Curator, K.H. Renlundin museum, elina.vuorimies (at), tel. 044 780 9478