In 1980, Matti Lepistö participated in a sculpturing course at his local adult education centre and learnt the basics of plaster casting. Having seen a small concrete statue of a horse in his neighbourhood, he became interested in the various possibilities of concrete sculpture. He threw himself into sculpting and has never stopped since. Lepistö says that he could not fight his fate forever; becoming an artist was inevitable, even if his financial circumstances did not encourage him to take this step. Lepistö produced his art in his spare time for some ten years before resigning from his job as a machinist in 1990. He has dedicated his life to art ever since. As a result of Lepistö’s relentless effort his garden is now packed with concrete statues. Some pieces have been commissioned and some sold but some 250 statues remain where they were created and form a total work of art, a private sculpture park.
The technique Lepistö developed can be adapted to both small and large pieces, and he likes to play with different sizes. He finds animal themes interesting as every species is unique and offers new challenges. Some narrative subjects have been executed in more than one version. Thus the park has numerous groups of works that can be seen as thematic units. The themes displayed include a series of works criticising various religions, eagle’s head figures, and egg-motifs that represent the birth and depictions of the countryside.
Text & photos: Minna Haveri. Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox.