Aalto students paint a 100-meter mural for the Flow Festival

‘Jukeboksi’ painting is inspired by music at this year’s festival and it will consume 93 liters of paint.
Sketches by Armi Teva and Miia Puustinen. Photo: David Lewis.

Seven students from Aalto University’s Visual Communication Design will paint a mural on a 100-meter long fence at the Flow Festival grounds. The artwork will greet visitors as they arrive, leading the way to the festival’s main stage. The painting will visualise the musical program at Flow Festival this year: every illustrator picks one or several songs from the festival’s lineup and creates a visual interpretation of them.

Student Armi Teva tells about her plans: ‘I’m doing altogether three paintings for the Flow fence and one of them is a collaboration with Miia Puustinen. I chose the following songs as starting points for my illustrations: “Ain't it funny” by Danny Brown, “Confessions Pt. 2” by Badbadnotgood and “Sun showered” by Soichi Terada. I wasn’t very familiar with these artists before – I chose them mainly on the basis of whose gig I wanted to see. Then I intuitively chose the songs that matched with my laid-back style of drawing.’

‘The ideas for the images came from the lyrics, rhythm and atmosphere of the songs: I pictured for example tragic comic masks of ancient Greek theatre for “Ain't it Funny”, an abstract illustration of movement and rhythm for “Confessions Pt.2”, and a surreal techno-forest for “Sun showered” together with Miia. It would be great if someone saw our painting and was inspired to check out the songs behind the illustrations!’ says Teva.

Student Robert Lönnqvist tells about his artwork: ‘So the inspiration for the piece had to come from a song. A certain palette of colors was the only other constraint. Of course there was a temptation of choosing one song randomly and never listening to it: Just arriving on the given day, painting some trolls and seeing if anyone believed that the picture was inspired by, say, Lana Del Ray.’

Sketch by Robert Lönnqvist. Photo: David Lewis.

‘But I actually chose one song, which is “Riskei on otettava” (Fin. you have to take risks) by MC Taakibörsta featuring Raimo. It was clear for me from the start that the song had to be Finnish rap. Even though the festival line-up is full of big foreign names, I wanted to promote local artists. I relate easily to the stories and humor of Finnish rap songs”, says Lönnqvist.

The elements of my illustration were sparked by the lyrics of the song. I just want to remind the festival goers that: “Mikä tahansa viski ilman tuplia on riski / Kuten olo Venäjäl ilman ruplia on riski" (Fin. any whisky without doubles is a risk, like being in Russia without rubles is a risk)’, Lönnqvist sums up.

The Flow Festival takes place 11–13 August in Suvilahti, Helsinki. Aalto University is one of the partners of the festival.

The student group creating the painting are: Armi Teva, Bertta Österman, Emery Norton, Juha Liede, Miia Puustinen, Miila Westin and Robert Lönnqvist.

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