Elsa Salonen

I Walk in the Forest as in a Temple

pigments, flour, a bear skull, other animal bones, lichen, brass bowls
2012, dimensions variable

The symmetric floor pattern is created with pigment and flour mixtures. Additionally, it includes animal bones, such as a bear skull, brass bowls and lichen collected from the Finnish forests.

The organic elements of the installation represent Finnish heritage. A bear skull rests in the middle of the pattern; the most important of the ancient Finnish sacred feasts, Karhunpeijaiset, was held in honour of a hunted bear.

Exhibition views: Grimmuseum, Berlin, 2012 / Photographer: Jere Salonen

The origin of the word pyhä (holy) is not connected with any of the religions. The word has been used for thousands of years in different societies to express a dividing border - a border that defines the meaning for different phenomena. Only later pyhä has been taken into use by religions. The languages of the northern peoples don't have a word for religion, but instead place importance on the concept of pyhä.

Outi Tikkanen, Sauvojen salaisuus, 2006