Viljo Luokkanen was born in Lapland and spent his working life as a turner and a smith in Sweden. Having retired, he has returned to his homeland and is now settled in Riihimäki in southern Finland. He has been very practical and productive all his life. His works have always found buyers and collectors, but it was only a few years ago that his wife, without his knowledge, started to put his works forward for exhibitions.
The Luokkanen house is on the outskirts of the town, by the woods. The house is surrounded by a vast garden, which is full of gorillas, bears, rabbits, penguins, cranes and owls. Spring is the busiest time for Luokkanen in his garden workshop, as it is at this time that the owner is most enthusiastic about filling the environment with new life.
Viljo Luokkanen creates larger-than-life animal sculptures, but also various species of little birds, which he decorates with delicate colours. The artist sculpts human figures as well, depicting chores and hobbies such as road-building, forest work, cleaning and fishing. Quite often his sculptures capture the features of his neighbours or colleagues.
Text: Raija Kallioinen. Photos: Liisa Heikkilä-Palo, Inna Kallioinen, Raija Kallioinen.