June 21, 2009

Arja Alhoranta, Elk garden

picture (around 2008?) courtesy of Minna Haveri  

The lady in the red jacket is Arja Alhoranta (b. 1937) from Pyhäranta in Finland. The horse on her right side is one of the many creations she made by applying concrete to a model made from iron wire. 

this picture and the next three (2018) 
courtesy of Sophie Lepetit

Her favourite is the elk. Altogether she made eight sculptures of elks and six of horses. 

But she also has created penguins, dogs, swans, other birds and wooden structures by manipulating big tree stumps with a chain saw, in this way producing lage totems.

Her work is displayed in the garden around her house in Pyhäranta, on the coast in South-West Finland.

Because her father had died in World War II, Arja Alhoranta already had to work at a rather young young age. In her jobs she became familiar with working with concrete. Later she worked in the insurance business and did the housework.

The latter in particular made her realize that this type of work does not deliver anything lasting, which increased her motivation to make sculptures, where her experience with concrete came in handy.

Arja Alhoranta also made a variety of small-scale items that are located indoors, such as painted murals, oil paintings, leather work and creations of porcelain.

* article and pictures on the ITEnet website
* entries (august 2018) in the weblog of Sophie Lepetit: here and here

first published July 2009, last revised August 2018

Arja Alhoranta
Elk garden
Pyhäranta, South-West Finland, South Western Finland


  1. I tried also to look after her work in finnish sites, and nothing, i sent some e-mails whose advice that led me to the same place. Hope i could have broader contacts for being helpful. For the moment, your site is a good point to start from. Hope some other person like Veli Granö would be interesting in write something about her.

  2. Thank you, Alberto Oliver.
    Yes, it would be nice to have some information on the actual situation, but I am afraid it will not be so easy.