Pirkko Juntu

Iisalmi (1953)

The garden of Pirkko Juntu in Iisalmi is a fascinating combination of nature and the built world with a lot to see. There are interesting buildings and structures together with a kitchen garden, flower beds and wild areas. The materials that Juntu has used in her garden installations, structures and decorations include rusty objects, like old tools and parts of an iron bedframe, and the garden is sprinkled with figures and works of art that she has made. There is also sound: hand-made wind chimes and musical instruments hanging from the branches of trees and shrubs play different melodies. Juntu has also built many lovely nests in her garden, which provide shelter and rest areas for squirrels, hares, birds and insects.  

The garden has a fairy-tale atmosphere, and Juntu emphasises the importance of playfulness and the joy of brainstorming: not everything should be taken so seriously. She encourages people to boldly combine different materials and reuse old objects. Recycling is part of Juntu’s philosophy, and she says that it is always possible to find a new use for objects and materials. As you walk through her garden, you can see that this really is the case. She often uses natural materials in her creative projects. In addition to making works from recycled materials, Juntu has also created leather pieces and designed jewellery. She has used stones in the wonderful structures and fence elements in the garden as well as in her jewellery.

Juntu bursts with ideas and comes up with fun life hacks, which she shares on her Niksi Piken ideanurkka Facebook page.  

Juntu also writes poems and has self-published a book. She is working on a new novel.  

Text and Photos: Mari Kekäläinen Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox

ITE Art surveys / Northern Savonia 2020–2022