October 03, 2009

Alpo Koivumäki, Alpon Savannilla/Alpo's Savanne



photo expo in Gaia-museum Denmark 2008,
website kunsten.nu

I wish I could show with a lot of pictures how this rhino comes along in his habitat on Alpo Koivumäki's farm in Kauhajoki, Finland.

Unfortunately a post is too static a medium, but here is a more dynamic presentation, a video by Erkki Pirtola (25'27", Youtube, uploaded oct 2014), recorded during various visits from 1995 on and very clearly showing Koivumäki's way of working (english subtitled).



Life and work 

Alpo Koivumäki (1939) was a farmer untill in 1995 new regulations of the European Union with regard to agriculture implied that he had to stop farming, financially compensated by the Finnish government.

At age 56 he gave his life a new direction by beginning to create all kind of animals, using scrap material from the farm, like oil drums, old tires, parts of engines, whatever.

picture courtesy of Minna Haveri

Koivumäki depicted lions, crocodiles, snakes, rhino's, elephants, birds, you name it, all together a menagerie that has become known as Alpo's Savanne.

It is most impressive, in my opinion, that his animals look so unbelievable animated, although composed of a combination of scrap materials. Just an empty oil drum on two legs would represent a lively bird.

Expositions

Alpo Koivumäki's work has not remained unobserved. In recent years he has been invited to show his work on outsider art expositions, not only in Finland, but also abroad, for example in the United Kingdom (London), in Hungary (Budapest), in Denmark (Gaia Museum) and in Germany (Neuhardenberg Palace).

   
 picture courtesy of oobio, Helsinki Times

The picture above shows a sculpture by Koivumäki, as exposed in the garden of the Gallen-Kallela Museum, Espoo, Finland (exposition A Kalevala Mindscape, sept 2010 - jan 2011).

Artist in residence


Koivumäki was invited several times to be an artist in residence and create an animal on spot. In june 2004 he stayed at the La Fabuloserie museum (Dicy, France), where he made an elk.


the elk in la Fabuloserie
picture (may 2014) by Raija Kallioinen

He also has made sculptures for the Thurgau Kunstmuseum (Switzerland). In 2009 it became a horse.

the horse 
picture courtesy of the Thurgau Museum

In 2011 he made a female bear.This project was annex to an exhibition the museum had from January 23, 2011 untill May 15, 2011, entitled Weltensammler, outsider art from the private collection of  Korine and Max Amman.

Documentation, more pictures 
* note and pictures on the ITEnet website
* article by Minna Haveri on SPACES website (publ 2012)
post (in english) on weblog Sacred Mischief august 2013

first published oct 2009, revised oct 2010, march, nov 2011, feb, nov 2013, may, oct 2014, dec 2015
  
Alpo Koivumäki 
Alpon Savannilla
Topeeka 15
61800 Kauhajoki, Finland
can be visited in summer

3 comments:

  1. Hi Henk, these creations are simply fabulous, can't believe how real they look ! We are so very lucky to have you tracking down all these sites for us which otherwise we might never have come across... thank you... !

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  2. My pleasure too, Owen. I feel lucky myself to make these discoveries. Have a good weekend.

    ReplyDelete