November 13, 2009

Ensio Tuppurainen, Paradise



picture from the website elisanet. (website no longer available

Life and works

Born in the community of Hirvensalmi, Finland, Ensio Tuppurainen (1924-2014) spent his professional life in the army.

When retired, being a veteran from war, he had his accommodation in Vekaranjärvi, a large military base, near the community of Valkealan, in the south of Finland.


picture courtesy of minna haveri

Tuppurainen was a self-taught artist who made paintings of landscapes, people and other scenes and who was active in making sculptures (elks, horses, other animals).

He probably is best known by the statements he wrote down on posters in a expressive and colorful way. These were displayed on a plot in the woods near the cabin where he had his (now closed) studio and gallery.

In these texts Tuppurainen provided commented on what he saw as social and political abuses, varying from EU-politics, the banking system and old age pensions, to environmental policy and the treatment of refugees.

Tuppuraine used to refer to his site as Paradise

Expositions

Tuppurainen's work was represented in the 2005 exposition In Another World in the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki.

Actual situation

Tuppurainen died October 3, 2014. I have no information about the actual situation of the site.

Documentation
Entry about  Ensio Tuppurainen on the website ITE-net
* In 2012 finnish photographer and author Erkki Pirtola has made a video (Youtube, 19'29", uploaded dec 2012) of then 88 year old Ensio Tuppurainen, talking about and showing his site. This finnish spoken video gives a good impression of the variety of creations Tuppurainen has made, both all kinds of installations from recycled material and sculptures and pamphlets with social and political manifestations



Ensio Tuppurainen
Paradise
Vekaranjärvi
Valkealan FI

first published nov 2009, revised dec 2014

5 comments:

  1. The sculpture is beautiful...

    Just did a little part of a post just for you Henk... hope all is well in Holland !

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  2. Just dropping by after Owen talked about your blog. What fascinating posts!!!

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  3. There are some clues that may help us in tracing the roots of the prolix amount of outsider art production in Finland. The one and the obvious are the distances, and the long dark winters, which compel people, specially from the countryside, to a forced isolation, where, far from any influence or trend, with no other materials but those available, (most of the times wood, but even junk), and with no more artistic guide but their own instinct, have led to the development of recognizable style characterized by introspection and its closeness to nature. The other point, as you may have notice, is the permanent presence of a political motif. Finland owns a high amount of newspapers, and of course, one of the highest amounts of readers per capita in the whole world. Most of those newspapers obey to a self political agenda and exert a big influence among their readers. Although a peaceful, sometimes silent people, Finns find in the politic expression, and why not, even with a ranting accent, their favorite and more hacneyed "exhaust valve"

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  4. Thanks for these observations, Alberto Oliver. I agree with you that the dark winters and the solitude of the countryside form an important factor in promoting creativity, and this in combination with the presence of a lively political debate. I am inclined to see this politcial involvement as part of a more general characteristic, one could describe as a need for individuality and individual expression among the people. I do not know enough about Finland and its socio-cultural development to be sure about this, but it seems to me there is some parallel with the individuality of the french and the abundance of outsider environments in that country (not to speak of individualism in the USA in relation with the great number of sites over there).

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  5. Individualism as understood not as a selfish attitude, but as a matter of self afirmation and strong convictions. If we understand french individualism in such that way, it is highly probable to find a clear paralelism with the Finnish way of see the life. On a broad way, when you speak with people like that, they will give you the oportuniy to express your ideas and even the chance to try to convince them by showing your arguments, but will not hesitate in show if have a disagreement or if dislike your statements. Any way, they can clearly make a difference between a debate and for example, what a friendship mean, that is, your convictions about certain topics will not change the general image they have about you. In that way, yes, French and finns share some points in common.

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