June 21, 2009

Arja Alhoranta, Elk garden

picture courtesy of Minna Haveri  

The lady in the red jacket is Arja Alhoranta (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. 

Her favourite is the elk. Alltogether she made eight sculptures of elks and six of horses. But she also has created pinguins, dogs, swans, other birds and wooden structures by manipulating big tree stumps with a chain saw, in this way producing big totems.

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

Alhoranta's creative activities seem to have started as kind of feminist statement with the intention to counterbalance the general opinion that men happen to be the human species that can produce large constructions (houses, roads). I think the statement has been made!


this picture (2001) from finnish 
newspaper Turun Sanomat

Making these big creations is an outside activity, which is done in summer (this is Finland!). In wintertime Alhoranta makes paintings.

More documentation
* note and pictures on ITEnet website

Arja Alhoranta
Elk garden


  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.