Pia Sirén, Mirella Pendolin & Ilona Valkonen

Plant Based Stories

A picture with cans of paint stacked on top of each other. Some of the jars have green plants. On top of everything, the picture says "plant based stories" in the biggest black letters.

Photo: Pia Sirén

Plant Based Stories is a three-year project by Pia Sirén, Ilona Valkonen and Mirella Pendolin, that runs from Kuopio to Helsinki and Hanko. The project takes the form of a workshop, a performance, and finally in its last year, a living monument. In the first phase of the project, memories and stories about encounters between flora and fauna are collected. The stories are exchanged for Vieno Motors bouquets made for each person.

At Baltic Circle Festival, Plant Based Stories meets audience groups in Riistavuori service centre. The stories are recorded and transcribed into the working group’s story archive, on which the next phases of the project dealing with the human-plant relationship are built. The search includes personal memories or anecdotes in which a member of the plant kingdom plays the main role.

You can come and go as you please. Participation in the discussion is possible in Finnish and English.

Participation in the event is free. Welcome!

RTI-talo in Ilmala also has a mailbox where anyone can drop their own plant story.

After the collection phase, the project changes its form into a presentation based on stories and finally into a public plant monument.

Pia Sirén (she/her, hon/henne)Pia Sirén (born in 1982) is a visual artist who builds large-scale, temporary works of installation art out of construction materials and works on sculptural, performative and varied collaborative projects. Sirén creates her artwork both in public outdoor spaces and in exhibition spaces. Her works form entities that engage audiences in their material and space, allowing the viewer to step into the installation and become a part of it. In 2012, Sirén graduated with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited in numerous private and group exhibitions both in Finland and abroad.

Mirella Pendolin (she/her, hon/henne)Mirella Pendolin (born in 1975) is a Swedish-speaking, half-Finnish and half-Spanish multi-talent in music from Vaasa: a singer, musician, pedagogue, composer and actor. Pendolin trained as a singer at the Trondheim Conservatory of Music in Norway and has since then been performing and publishing her own music as well as participated in several jazz/pop groups, composed music for various artists, theatre performances, and served as a choirmaster and a vocal pedagogue. Recently, she has been releasing her own music in a style that lies somewhere between pop and jazz with electronic and ethnic influences.

Ilona Valkonen  (she/her, hon/henne)Ilona Valkonen (born in 1980) is a visual artist whose working approach involves suggestions for alternative ways to look at and understand the world. Valkonen works with new forms of painting, collegial curation and a performance concept created through collaboration, Vieno Motors. By now, over 60 artists with various backgrounds have already contributed to the different Vieno Motors actions that combine plants with creative methods, and their number is constantly growing. In addition to Finland, the performances have taken place in cities like Reykjavik, Berlin, New York, Graz, Saint Petersburg and London.

YELLOWCAKE is a part of Kulkue, a joint project between three Finnish art festivals. ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival (Kuopio), Hangö Teaterträff (Hanko), and Baltic Circle (Helsinki) create an exceptionally large-scale series of Finnish co-productions along with related tours. The project’s central goal is to promote the accessibility of the festivals and to prolong the life cycle of the performances. The project is financed by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Fri 25.11. 13.00

Riistavuori Service Center
Isonnevantie 28
00320 Helsinki

Duration: 3,5 h
Language: Finnish, Swedish and/or English