Arto Ali-Eskola

Marttila (1948)

Arto Ali-Eskola lives on the fertile farming lands of the south-west of Finland. He grows corn, and farming takes up one hectic month of his summer. During the rest of the year, he produces his art; big, heavy concrete sculptures, and delicate, very fine and exact wood reliefs.

Ali-Eskola has his own unique sculpting technique. He digs an enormous casting hole in the clayey ground where he sketches the form of the sculpture, e.g. an elephant or a horse. He makes a rough mould and tries to leave the massive figures hollow. When the cast is dry, he lifts the sculpture up and finds its particular and vivid expression.

The same preciseness is a feature of the wooden reliefs that he produces by dozens during the winter months. His themes include old working methods, environments and very accurate human figures. Ali-Eskola can also forecast weather from nature’s signs.

Text: ITE museum. Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox. Images: Veli Granö.