Veikko Rajala

Inari (1926)

In the heart of Lapland in Inari, resides a grandpa made of steel called Veikko Rajala, who runs a marathon every year, despite his old age. Between the windows of his poetically patina covered home, there is a door painted in the colours of the Sami flag. Inside you will find an artist half Sami.

Rajala’s paintings can be found everywhere in the house. The self-made oven, that brings warmth in, is likewise disguised in fake rocks and hatches. ”Many have tried and failed”, Rajala laughs at his skillful legerdemain.

Besides painting, Rajala sculpts. The main focus of his sculpting work fills the art extruding bedroom in the back of the house. It is a miniature set of fixtures, including several chairs and a table, with painted patterns of the only surviving shaman drum of Lapland, on top of it. The seats are sculpted full of Sami imagery. Killing of a bear, wolves howling and sopka scenery are depicted on them.

Text: Erkki Pirtola. Translation: Ina Aaltojärvi. Photos: Jaakko Heikkilä and Korinna Korsström-Magga.