Friday, 2 July 2010



Well here it is!! All done.

The final puzzle piece was fixed into place at 3.50pm on the 30th of June.

Day 20,21 & 22

Looks like Kalle is warming his hands by a flaming camp fire! actually he is re-setting the level of the work.

Day 20

WOW! Wonderful evening last night, lots of people, great atmosphere and a jolly good picnic. I left Voimala at about 10.15pm and got home at 2.30am.........That's along day!

Visitors total for yesterday 60!!!

Generally a quiet day which I am very grateful for as I am feeling a wee bit tired........not surprising!

Worked on the end wall and did some division lines on the last end wall as I know it will make it feel less momentous when I come to it.

7 visitors's very hot out side and I think most people have left work early and are travelling to their summer cottages ready for Mid-summer celebrations. Tomorrow I will do the same.....3 days off at the summer cottage and oh boy am I ready for it.

Day 21

3 days in the cottage was just what I needed.

Worked on the end wall this morning.
11.35 the end wall is completed.

Now to start the momentous task of completing the final wall......2 and a half days to get it done!
I wonder if it will be enough or will I have to put in some extra hours?????

I have been getting cramp in my hands and fingers..... took a half hour lunch break and that seemed to do the trick, my hands are more relaxed now.

3/4 of the way!!!!

Day 22

I have decided that I will hold off on any more pictures now until the work is done, hold you all in suspense!

Not a lot to write about as I just motored on with the final wall.

The morning has been quiet so I feel as though I have done really well and got quite a lot done.

The afternoon suddenly became social from 2.00 onwards, so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped but I still think it is possible I will be finished on time.

Days 18 & 19

Here I am cutting the threads to open the door during the Harjannostajaiset / Roof Raising Party, quickly followed by one very excited little person who thought it was just the bees-knees the run through the walls........ amazingly not damage done and only took a few moments to untangle the threads.

Day 18
Day before the party and I have been too busy to write much, working flat out and making calls and sending text messages to check and confirm that people can make it tomorrow.

Tuomas popped in briefly, he had just been visiting Lauri the old gentleman who was the machines master here at Voimala and will be appearing in Tuomas's film - to be shot in Voimala towards the end of July and then shown in Taidehalli, Helsinki at the end of August.

I thought that today was going to be quiet but the article in Aamuposti has made people curious....especially as the picture gives an idea as to what this Palapeli Talo (Jig-saw Puzzle House) is.

I forgot my camera today so no pictures today!

25 visitors

Day 19

I spent all of the morning correcting a mis-alignment over and around the door entrance.....took a while to find where the problem started and where it ended.

11.00 Problem solved and the door top is weighted ready for the strings to be cut and the door entrance opened this evening.
Now to continue with the filling.

Only 4 full working days left!!!!!!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Day 16 & 17

Very quiet day and I am physically slow today, I have come to realise that by Fridays my body begins to ache all over....!
I worked on the end wall all day today and I see so little progress and I really wonder if I will have it ready on time, but maybe it's just my tiredness speaking.

One thing I have noticed about this exhibition and it's placing here in Voimala is that I'm almost certain I get visitors here that would probably not go to an Art Gallery, this is a great bonus opening up art to a wider audience.

11 visitors

DAY 17

As I walk through the Turbine Hall on my way to my work I hear the flutter flutter of wings and a pigeon lands on a rail beside me...... I decide to leave the door connecting the 2 halls open in the hopes that he/she will follow me through.
Low and behold he/she does and before I have even got the main doors open there it is hovering above my head soon as I open the door out it goes. I feel like a good soul!

Ok! my working light bulb has blown so I shall have to wait till lunch to replace it, shame as not only does it really make a difference to the work when its lighted but it also provides a degree of warmth.

Task 1.
Set the lower level of the last wall.

10.10 77 puzzle pieces in place ready to be levelled.
10.30 Lower level done.

Now begins the hard labour of filling, an assistant would be really good right now!

11.45 The table for the faster system is set up, and although it takes time to set up it does save time in the long run.

No pictures today, I think I'll wait till I feel that I have made a bit more progress, shame I didn't get one of the pigeon.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Day 15

Getting there!

Well today I am determined to complete the second roof pitch and get as much of the wall under done as possible. Even if it means talking to my visitors from up the ladder.

I'm not really looking forward to the ladder work as after I had worked on the previous roof pitch I felt like a creaky 90 year old.

1.15 So far today it's been relatively quiet visitors wise, which is fine as I get more done that way.

Pilvi Uuttu from Aamuposti just popped in to see how I am progressing, she will be writing a follow up on the first artical reporting on the progress which is nice.

Just had a group visit from Työpaja ETAPPI.

3.45 The second roof pitch is done...........YEY!

The ladder work is a killer.

Now just a little bit of time left to do some filling and take some photos.

Day 14

Photographs by Ilona Romu

Well I guess I should try to get the things done today that I was unable to complete yesterday!

10.55 I have been all round the house and checked the levels, found a few areas that needed some adjustments which included one row too many on the facing wall, which means removing it and re-setting the rows, this has set me back a bit but at least it's done.

14.00 The facing wall is finished.....Yipee!

For the rest of the afternoon I will start the work on the second roof pitch.

I have had so many talkative visitors this afternoon which has been wonderful and engaging, exhausting also as my Finnish is still so appalling which I am ashamed of.

2 more children helped me today by adding puzzle pieces, their names are written on the back of their pieces....some how it makes it special knowing that someone's name is hidden somewhere in the house.

Very little achieved work wise....but a lot of socializing which is something I don't get when I'm working in my studio.

20 visitors

Day 13

Setting the levels on the second wall.

1. Finish the facing wall
2. Set the levels for the adjacent wall.
3. Set the level for end wall top level.

I think this is too much for one day but it's good to have targets!
It's a seriously cold, dull and damp day today, back on with the hat and gloves!

9.30 The first 2 levels are set with string as markers.
10.30 Second window is in place.

Wonderful just as I was beginning to get seriously bored of looking at the same puzzle pieces a lady brought me a new 1000 piece puzzle (not brand new, just new to me!) It's of a chapel in Bavaria.

1.00 About 15 visitors so far.
3.15 Both level lines are done on the adjacent wall.

Time to do a bit of filling now!

20 visitors

Monday, 14 June 2010

Day 12

My Little helper Miro


Where do I start today??? Do I attempt to complete the facing wall......or move to the wall opposite to the door...... Ok! so I decided to try and finish the facing wall, this is going to be slow as I have to keep on checking that they are as level as possible.

10.00 Visit from Heikki of YIT and 7 of his guests.

A wonderful little boy named Miro and his mother visited, Miro asked his mother if he could live in the Palapeli Talo - Jig-saw-puzzle house.... I replied that it might get a little bit cold in the winter time. I then asked if he would like to help me put some puzzle pieces on the threads, I showed him how,..... he then very carefully chose the pieces he wanted and with a little help from mum placed 2 pieces for me. I have written his name on the back of one of his pieces......Thank you Miro!

I had 2 ex-Voimala workers today, one who used to work in this very hall and the second who's father had also worked here, he told of how he would bring his children for sauna evenings and seemed very curious about the second level, I would loved to have taken him up there, but it's dangerous and any way there nothing up there as all the machines have been stripped out. He seemed deeply lost in his memories and I felt a little sad.

30+ visitors today and I didn't quite manage to finish the wall......nearly.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Day 10 & 11

Day 10

Not much to write about today, I worked all day in one particular area and don't really feel like I made alot of progress, I'm sure I did but it was just filling work and so I done see what I have done.

There have been alot of visitors today which suprises me as it's been raining constantly and I would have thought that it would keep people in their homes, but as it's reasonably warm outside (not in here! I have my hat and gloves on again!) people are still happy to venture out.

My body really aches all over especially my back, it was probably from working balanced on the ladder all day yesterday!!!!

Day 11

I came in an hour early's damp, windy and wet and as I felt I made so little progress yesterday I thought I would take the opportunity to see what its like towork with the doors closed.
I have a lone pigeon inside I hope he/she finds a way out today! ok now I hear another bird, I don't know what it is as I am no authority on bird song... well at least it's singing!

.....strangely lonely without the soundscape!

11.00 Doors Open

Lots of visitors... one of my regular visitors came to see how I am progressing, nice to have a follower!
Two ladies came in and asked where are the paintings if this is an exhibition??
Two curious young boys on their bikes hesitated at the door and called out "What are you doing in there!" to which I replied "Come in and see!" In they came and proceeded to ask about everything; the works....the building...What's this?....What's that? and Where does that go? Wonderful curiousity!

1.30 It must be my busiest day so far!

2.55 The second roof pitch is on its way and the position for the second window is marked!

At least 35 visitors

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Day 8

Yesterday when I got home and checked my messages I discovered to my dismay that the Youth Theatre workshop had been cancelled..... I am really disappointed! It took alot of work to write and plan and I was looking forward to the experiance! Oh well it gives me more tine on the installation.

I also got a message from Tuomas telling me that he and Jukka would be at Voimala at 10.00 to meet the press, this is a second visit from Aamuposti which is great. They were with us for 2 hours, lots of photos and talk so I really look forward to seeing the results.

Todays plan for the work was to work out the pitch of the roof, this is slow and uncomfortable work as I have to be up the ladder. The pitch is a bit steeper than I had wished owing to the reduced width of the mesh from which the work is hanging.

I worked the full 8 hours today with no break as I really wanted to complete the roof pitch as it was slower work than I had thought, but I felt happy with the end result as it feels like it's taking form now.

Tomorrow I will continue with the window wall and see how much of that I can complete.

A day well spent!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Day 6 & 7

Today I decided to try a new and hopefully faster way to attach the puzzle pieces and that would reduce the sway factor.

Therefore saving me time from trying to catch the treads as they blow in the wind, although it took some time to set up in the end it worked well.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Day 5


Yesterday was a cold day there was a strong wind blowing through the doors straight to where I was working and I felt that my progress was slow.
In preparation today, I have with me; fingerless gloves, a hat and slightly warmer clothes.
As I cycled to Voimala there was a fierce wind but I noted as I reached Voimala that it was in a different direction so maybe no need for the hat!

The early part of the day was quiet as far as visitors goes, a chance to push forward fixing the puzzle pieces, I have a week and a few days left before the Youth Theatre Workshop begins and I have to have the walls and door entrance in place so that they have something to work with......!

One thing I have noticed so far is that those visitors who do take the courage and enter are fascinated by the space and to my surprise truly engage with the work, through discussion and involvement they understand what I am doing and why......... these are not fellow artists but the general public, most of whom are local residents. The most engaging so far are those of an older generation who have known Voimala in it's working life time and who are genuinely pleased to see the doors open to what was once the heart beat of Riihimäki.

Voimala brought power and electricity to Riihimäki before which there had been none! The Paloheimo Power plant was unique for it's time in so much as unlike other existing power plants Voimala produced it's energy from waste.

The more I meet and talk with people about the work the happier I am that I pursued this project.........hearing peoples opinions concerning Place and it's varying roles in our cultural identity as a means of providing the foundations from which to build and shape our future give great validation to the work.

Through the works in this exhibition people are talking, questioning and sharing. Peoples voices and opinions that are seldom given a Space to be heard now have that platform.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Day 3.


22 visitors

No Pigeons his morning!!!

Today I feel tired.

Today my first plan is to finish off the lower level line then to look and plan where the entrance will be and the place for a window.

Just had my first visitor of the day... He used to work here in Voimala in Marketing and Sales, we had a lond chat about the site and its future, I mentioned that there is very little information about the inside workings of the old power plant and he said that he new another man who used to work here and he would be a great sourse of information about the places history especially the huge machines as that was his speciality, I have his name
and I dream of finding a translator in order to interview him. He is already in his late 70's so time is of the essance.

As a consequence of feeling tired, it feels like my progrss today is very slow.

3.00 Sirpa from Hämeen Taidetoimikunta has just arrived with a gift from
Hämeen Taidetoimikunta, and what a perfect present! Thank You!
Now I can do my work in comfort and style.

4.15 Visit by Hämeen Taidetoimikunta.

Pictures of some progress toay!

Day 2.


The first thing I discovered on arrival this morning at Voimala was that a pigeon had flown though the hanging threads leaving behind a tangled mess and a few feathers in the process, this could be a problem.......lets see!

Now to untangle!
1 hour and 15 mins later I have untied the tangled wieghts and re-tied them.... now to continue.
11.45 all the weights are now in place.

Time for a coffee!

12.00 visitors from Riihimäki Theatre and Hämeen Liitto

- start to fix the puzzle pieces...beginning with the corners and the lowest edges creating the frame work for the house.

2.45 the first lower line is level!!

13 visitors so far.

I am still amazed how fast the time goes.

Day 1.


I arrived at Voimala at 8.00 with the car full of all sorts of goodies ready for the press opening at 9.00, Heikki was already there giving an interview.
Just befor 9 Kalle arrived which was nice as he said he thought that he was going to be a bit late, Tumas and Jukka arrived shortly afterwards along
with Pia fron the Youth Theatre.

Much to my delight pretty much every one I had invited arrived, I gave a few interviews and described the work I was intending to make to some of the guests, at some point I knew that I could not put off the obligitory speach any longer so after what I felt was a very sputtered attempt my thanks were made the project was introduced and offically the doors were open.

....By about 1.00 the mornings visitors had left and the tranquility of the work begins, my first job is to weight all the treads which means tying bolts to the ends, holding the work to place like the foundations of a house, at this stage I am not attempting to make them level......this can happen towards the end as I want to get started with the puzzle pieces.

Many people asked me wont the sound work that is part of Tuomas and Jukka's work irritate you? but I seem to find it soothing, it's low tones flow and feel some thing between breathing and a heart beat. The music is interspersed with gentle harp strings which draws a connection with my own work as I run my fingers through the treads to separate them out in preparation for the weights.

Things noted today:
1. The floor slopes somewhat!
2. The strings shold have been longer.........
3. Maybe I will need some fingerless gloves as at times my hands have felt a wee bit chilly.
4. I need the spirit level tomorrow.

And last but not least... Once I started working I completely
lost the sense of time........YEY!!!!

Sunday, 30 May 2010



3 days of installing, approximately 700metres of nylon thread tied and hung! Now to finish the work for Taidemuseo.

Friday, 28 May 2010


Yesterday was the first day of installation.


Nerves have kicked in.....I'm just waiting for the Adrenaline rush!

Kalle will be coming to install his work today and Tuomas and Jukka will install tomorrow, this is exciting and nerve racking!

Pictures to follow!

Sunday, 23 May 2010


One thing I have realised is that if I am going to keep this blog I need to write regularly, as it's all to easy to forget.

Last week I spent most of the time writing press releases, getting them checked for correct Finnish and then making the amendments. Trying to contact the press which seems to be difficult as so many people are on holiday.

I am happy to say that Riihimaki Art Museum has contacted me and would like to be involved in this project; this will entail me having an installation in the museum which will document the progress of the work, plus another small installation that will act as a show case for the work taking place in Voimala. I will be making the small installation this week and hopefully have some video documentation of the process.

On Thursday I spent nearly 2 hours in Voimala and a couple more at my home with Tuomas looking at and discussing the spaces were we will install our works, making a few changes to the original plans mainly owing to the dynamics of the space and how the works will be viewed at their best.

Kalle emailed me and we agreed he will be installing his work on Friday. This is all getting very close and I still feel that I have an awful lot to do.

Lets see how the week pans out.


Monday, 17 May 2010


This morning I set up a facebook group and event.

Having lost working time last week owing to a dose of 'Spring Flu' my mind is spinning trying to remember all the things I need to get done or have done already.

Last Monday I met with Pia Aro from the Youth Theatre to finalise the plans for the workshop we will run as a collaborative project, poster and sign-up form is in place. Now we just wait to see if we get a courageous group to sign up!

Wednesday morning I met with Heikki Hannukkala from YIT to collect keys and over coffee we discussed the potentials of this fantastic space - Voimala!

In between all the above I had bouts of very frustrating flu exhaustion where the only thing I could do was rest in the hopes that the next day I would have more energy.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Random Thoughts


Random Thoughts

As I head towards 2 new projects which will involve stepping out side my normal working comfort zone, I have been thinking a lot about the creative process as a means of understanding my own work and its processes......partly owing to the need to write up various projects for proposals and applications. The process seems to be about following an unknown path guided by intuition and a drive to keep the process going even though more often than not the outcome is not certain.

Uncertainty, as a description of the unknown, may result in a multitude of outcomes and it is in this in-between place of knowing and not knowing that often hides our greatest potential, if we are willing to step into that void.

"Between stimulas and responce there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our responce............................."Paul Stoltz - Adversity Advantage

In normal everyday life we try to predict the uncertain aspects of a situation/problem in a desire to eliminate potential risks in order to push the outcome into a more desired direction, being by nature uncomfortable with things that we cannot control.

In creative processes the uncertainty stands for a more free and curious approach in the exploration of something new. The uncertainty stands as a vital force in the non-linear process of creating, a sort of awareness compass that will if allowed mark our direction.