Department of Art

Concreate Urban Art Festival Comes to Keran Hallit

Artists transform the interior of Keran Hallit for the Concreate Urban Art Festival 2021.

Concreate 2021

Saara Salmi painting in Keran Hallit. Deep red roots spread out across the wall

Saara Salmi. Courtesy of Concreate 2021. Photo: Pekka Lintusaari

Image of Concreate artists installing their work in Keran Hallit. Artist Saara Salmi stands on a scissor-lift to reach her painting

Installation view of Concreate 2021 in Keran Hallit. Courtesy of Concreate 2021. Photo: Pekka Lintusaari

Jesse Pasanen greyscale painting of a view out from rubble into a distance landscape

Jesse Pasanen, Dispatch department, 2021. Courtesy of Concreate 2021. Photo: Pekka Lintusaari

Artist Jesse stands on a scissor lift to paint the greyscale mural in Keran Hallit

Installation view. Jesse Pasanen, Dispatch department, 2021. Courtesy of Concreate 2021. Photo: Pekka Lintusaari

Painting by Saara Mahbouba. Black lines meander in fragmented forms across a pastel pink wash

Saara Mahbouba. Courtesy of Concreate 2021. Photo: Pekka Lintusaari

Focusing on urban art, Concreate 2021 brings together a group of artists who created art in Keran Hallit from April 1-16. The space is now open for visitors until May 29. Featured artists include both current students and alumni from the Masters in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art (ViCCA).

Jesse Pasanen (ViCCA current) is an artist and a graphic designer, and a founding member of G-Rex and Street Art Vantaa. In the capital area, you can find his work in the street art district of Pasila, the train station of Louhela, and countless other locations. His piece takes its title - Dispatch department - from its location in the dispatch department of a former logistics center. It was created in six days with brushes and white spray paint. "As buildings, roads and lights began to find their place, it felt as if the painting had come to life."

Saara Mahbouba (ViCCA 2020) is an artist living in Helsinki. Her work revolves around taking a flat two-dimensional space and breaking it down into a complex, rabbit hole of fragmented things, creatures, and designs. "My paintings are heavily process based, there is never any underdrawing, sketching, or planning — I start by making a mark on the surface and allowing it to grow from there, with each figure or pattern building off of the other, changing what came before."

Saara Salmi (ViCCA 2020) is a photographer and a painter. For her masters’ exhibition, Salmi painted a series of trees fallen in the storm, exposing their roots: “I paint fallen trees’ roots, and I’m fascinated by the harshness and symbolism in them. They appear from the depths of the ground when the forces of nature rip them out. The roots rise in the forest landscape sublimely and strange like quiet monsters." The piece at Keran Hallit draws inspiration from a spruce the artist found in the forest at Luukki.

Concreate Urban Art is an annual festival that takes place in different locations and introduces art into new urban areas. The first Concreate festival was held in 2020 in East Pasila district. This year, it moves to the Keran Hallit, a former logistics center turned into a new center for services and goods. It is a place to experience and experiment, aiming at understanding and developing more sustainable services and infrastructures.

Concreate Urban Art Festival is organized by Helsinki Urban Art Association. Helsinki Urban Art specializes in bringing art into public spaces as a part of the everyday life. The objective of the organization is to find new ways of utilizing urban space, create communal urban culture, and find solutions to societal problems through art and activism.

Concreate 2021 is organized in collaboration with Keran Hallit and the City of Espoo. The event is also sponsored by STO Finexter Oy, Molotow, Powerlift Finland Oy, and Estonian Institute.

Full list of artists on the Concreate website. *artist quotes from the Concreate website.

Visiting hours and further details.

Images courtesy of photographer Pekka LintusaariFacebook / Instagram @resupekka.

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