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Sinking with the rest of the world

Tiina Raitanen

Tiina Raitanen’s ‘Sinking with the rest of the world’ is a sculpture intertwined around a tree and reminiscent of a running belt used by swimmers in a pool. It is made of concrete with steel details. The steel parts are items collected from nature in and around the town of Hanko during the summer of 2020. Raitanen has removed the rust from the items and protected them from rusting again. They however show time’s erosive effect on them. No amount of polishing can restore them to their newness. They appear as pieces partly embedded into the concrete.

The running belts are made of foam rubber and designed to support the swimmer just enough to make moving in water easier. In Raitanen’s sculpture this equipment and material have become heavy and pulling down. It does not support the user but instead keeps them in place and pulls them under the water. The creation of the installation started with thoughts of climate change and the rise of sea water levels. It radiates frustration, cynicism and surrender in a poetic way. Is there anything we can do anymore? On the other hand, the installation also offers playfulness. The user of the weight belt can release themself of the burden simply by opening the buckles.

The sculpture can be found on a bent tree at HUS festsal shore.

Photos: Sandra Kantanen

Tiina Raitanen (born 1983) is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki. Characteristic of Raitanen’s sculptures is that they consist of many parts and materials. She deals with questions such as observation, human traces, time, work and the existential struggle. While shaping her works Raitanen uses worn and faulty objects she has found from the urban environment. She examines them and works on the material by taking moulds, casting objects and rearranging their parts. Using her hands and body is an integral part of her creative artistic process. Materials, moulds and parts of the sculpture evolve slowly through different stages into an entity where they support each other both during the working process and in the final installation. 

Tiina Raitanen graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. In 2018, Raitanen took project studies in sculpture for professional artists at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Recently, Raitanen has shown her works in the solo exhibition Hard at Sinne in Helsinki 2019 and at the group exhibition of The Concrete Art Symposium in the culture Centre Poleeni in Pieksämäki 2021 and Infiltration in SIC in Helsinki 2020. She has been working in several artists residencies abroad. Raitanen is a member of the Association of Finnish Sculptors.

© Coastline Sculpture Project