Heikki Kylliäinen

Savitaipale (1945)

In his homestead, Heikki Kylliäinen has made a heaven filled with traditional Finnish Christmas decorations, often made from straw, called himmeli. Countless ornament pictures hang in the courtyard trees and small display cabins, built by Kylliäinen himself. Specifc themes recur: flowers, birds, horses, wooden chains and the himmeli. The outer surfaces of the structures have also been decorated with rythmic patterns and star-shaped inflorescence.

Due to a back injury in 1992, Kylliäinen had to leave his work in the concrete element factory. The heaven filled with himmeli was found thereafter, as a result of unceasing labour. He also makes series of original wood chipped platters, lampshades and toylike objects, such as tiny sofas out of clothespins. When Kylliäinen opens the doors to ones of his main pavilions, a, enormous himmeli, made of drinking straws, emerges. In another museum in a shed, there is a large himmeli, made of countless wooden chains and tires.

Text: Erkki Pirtola. Translation: Ina Aaltojärvi. Photos: Kimmo Heikkilä.