Jukka Säntti

Sodankylä (1959)

In recent times, Jukka Säntti has lived in Kolari. His profession has been the managment of fishing. He knows the salmon of the nearby flowing Kemi river, by name. Säntti is a bohemian artist type, who has always been sculpting. He makes large statues with a chain saw and smaller ones with handcrafting tools.

There is a lively flock of Siberian Jays, made crudely from wood blocks and chips, hanging in the ceiling of the cabin. With the confidence of an Outsider artist he defines his work: ”I saw Bird-Antti making a woodchip bird in Saariselkä, so I decided to start making birds, but not as copying, but as inventing a new kind of technique, that has proven out to be the best one”. The bird artist has stuck briskly protruding wings, made of shingle chips and scraped with the colours of a Siberian Jay, onto the body of the bird sculpted from an alder block. The Siberian Jays flutter vividly with the help of a fan, just like these amusing birds so friendly do, around a traveler in the woods.

White swans hang in the ceiling as well, with their webbed feet and huge lathed wings spread out in a wiry fashion, ready to land in the desert lake. Säntti brings the surrounding wilderness to fly and nest in his home. ”Why would I sculpt parrots, when there are none here.” Woodpeckers peck and owls hoo in dry logs. One room has birdhouses, that are overpopulated with birds. Säntti wants to take part in the discussion of global human overpopulation with his birdhouses, and also comment on why people die from obesity on the other side of the world, and from hunger on the other. A large crane has squashed itself into one of the birdhouses, and a smaller bird desparately brings food to its big beak. ”That is the bank crisis.”

Text: Erkki Pirtola. Translation: Ina Aaltojärvi. Photos: Arto Liiti.