Kirsti Mäki

Mellilä (1948)

Kirsti Mäki lives in an old horse farm that has belonged to her family since the early 17th century. The ancient timber outbuildings contain historical objects that the family has gathered over the years: tools and other items used in the olden days such as splint holders and the board where bodies of the deceased were laid. The old outbuildings are full of stonework, wood plank paintings and aphorisms. Beautifully rough stone figures have also taken over the dim living room in the late 19th century main building. The pieces are arranged in large groups on tables, benches and chairs. Each stone figure has a name, and many are accompanied by a poem. The mini-figures carry huge symbolism. They represent an entire philosophy of life.

Memories as well as respect for nature and life are emphasised in Kirsti’s work. Her art is characterised by calmness and sensitivity to the beauty of nature. She has filled her living environment with small, everyday arrangements: old objects, items that belonged to loved ones who have passed away, surfaces patinated by time and touch that tender care turns into pieces of art.

Kirsti loves stones in all their various shapes. The house was built on a rock, and the old garden in its natural state is surrounded by a sturdy stone wall. Kirsti has dug up the earth floor of the old pig house to reveal the beautiful boulders underneath. Her retreat, The Stone Church, is at the forest edge. It is a small cave flanked by massive stones. Kirsti’s little stone figures, each one with its own story, live in these surroundings. Stone is an element that stores ancient wisdom. To an artist who is willing to listen, stones bring messages from the past and the future.

Text & photos: Minna Haveri.  Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox.