A visit to HAMJuly 6 in Finland
After a quick lunch at a Chinese restaurant (Helsinki seems to have a large number of Chinese restaurants), we headed over to The Helsinki Arts Museum (HAM). Much of HAM’s art collection is spread across the city in parks and gardens, schools and libraries. Their motto is ‘Art is popcorn for the brain’. There is currently a Graffiti exhibition, which was very interesting, as it tracks the development of graffiti from the 70’s onwards. I learnt a lot about graffiti at this exhibition. Graffiti can be divided into three broad categories - tags, throw-ups and pieces. Tags are basically the writer’s stylized signature done with a marker or spray paint. A throw-up consists of quickly executed outlines and fill. The term ‘piece’ describes a more complex graffiti painting. All three types appear in many styles, varying with the writer’s skills. Each writer’s aim is to gradually develop their own recognisable style.
The core element of graffiti is usually a signature or word around which the piece is constructed layer by layer. The writer often does a sketch on paper beforehand, as the onsite painting must be done quickly. A classic piece consists of letters’ outlines and fill, background and various highlights.
There was also an exhibition on Finnish artist Tove Jansson - she was a painter, novelists, comic artist, illustrator and writer, and is best known as the creator of the Moomins (I have never heard of the Moomins).Read more