Any readers of Triratna News who happen to be in Helsinki in April are warmly invited to visit a exhibition entitled ‘The Forest Speaks’ (‘Metsä puhuu’ in Finnish), created by two Order Members Akasaka and Nagashila. Akasaka writes, saying - “The Forest Speaks exhibition is the current result of a collaboration between myself, an Englishwoman and graphic artist, newly arrived in Finland, and Nagashila, a Finnish painter. Our collaboration started in the Koli Ryynänen artist residence in 2008.
Both of us are interested in Kalevala, its poems and myths. The Karelian landscape with its hills stretching around Koli and Pielinen has been a perpetual circle of mythic dimension for us. It is also a place where we have walked silently during the nights and made various forest rituals. Another thing connecting us is of course practising Buddhist meditation.
My works displayed in the exhibition are from the period of 2008-2012. Created of ink, birch bark and photographs, they do not describe the heroes of Kalevala but the changes in one’s mind, creating the new, integration, memory and wisdom which is hidden in the poems of Kalevala. My latest works focus on the 47 verses where Ilmatar is lulling in a golden cradle the spark of fire of the new sun created by Ukko.
From Nagashila the exhibition displays ‘contemplation paintings’ and four ‘forest icons’. The first are works created with different techniques (water colour, tempera, oil, a discovered plank, iron nail). Their titles often have a literal reference - Nagashila says that the roots of his art are found in the shamanic Kalevala tradition, in the Orthodox Christian prayer tradition and in practicing Buddhist meditation.
During three Sundays while the exhibition is open Nagashila will create sand paintings as part of a ‘Forest Icon Event’ - using materials found in the nature they are an offering of gratitude to the forest.
The exhibition is a co-chanting of two artists, a woman and a man, and of the feminine and masculine energies of the forest. The voices of us both are mingled with each other and thus bring about yet a new soundscape, a new colour, like yellow and blue together become green.