this picture and the next four (around 2012) courtesy of
Katla, Heathen Harvest website
Katla, Heathen Harvest website
In the 1950s Elis Sinistö (1912-2004) from Finland settled on a plot of wood in the community of Kirkkonummi, where he founded his own domicile, using all kinds of recycled materials to construct various buildings, such as a house to live in (as on the next picture), a temple, a sauna, a guest house and various other constructions.
For visitors who wanted to stay overnight, Sinistö had constructed a guest house, as in next picture.
a guest house
Sinistö incorporated a lot of qualities in one person, he was a philosopher, a yogi, a dancer, singer, poet, performer.... and he did not care about property, nor about the so called prosperity of western society....
He has been quoted saying that he did not own anything, it was just mother Earth that owned him. His life, he said, just was "pure being".
In the 1940's he had to fulfill military service, but his refusal to carry a weapon and his vegetarianism brought him into trouble and resulted in a psychiatric admission for some time.
balcony of mountain cottage
After the war Sinistö became a professional dancer for theater companies, and he also was a painters model. With the money earned in these jobs he could buy the plot of land in the woods, where he single-handedly constructed his Villa Mehu.
No future for this site
After Sinistö's death in 2004 the property was legated to a folk art music foundation, which ensured that interested people could visit the site, However, this foundation in 2011 went bankrupt and since the site with its buildings was a collateral for loans the foundation had contracted, it had to be sold.
It was bought by a neighbor, who in July 2013 told a Finnish newspaper that due to lack of funds it was not possible to renovate the already dilapidated structures. Just the ones from stone, the headstone and the pond where Sinitstö's ashes were scattered, will be retained.
The photo below, made in May 2019, shows the gradual degradation of the site.
picture (2019) courtesy of Mike Inglis
You dream about the emptiness
Mike Inglis, an artist from England, around 2019 spent some time in Sinistö's art environment, immersing himself in this now uninhabited world of woodland structures set in the tranquility and privacy of the remote Finish forests. Trying to understand the fantastical mind of Sinistö, he made this video (available on Vimeo)
* Article and pictures on the ITEnet website
* A series of photos (2018) by Sophie Lepetit on her weblog, here and here
* In summer 2020 two Finnish articles were published about Sinistö's legacy, both with a variety of illustrations:
- on website Urbanex-ninja (June 10, 2020)
- on weblog Styleheaven-marjorie (July 4, 2020)
* Video by Lauri Ainala (YouTube, uploaded aug 2009, 5'03")
* Video by Erkki Pirtola, in two parts (You Tube, uploaded jun 2012, 9'50" and 9"51)
first published January 2010, last revised April 2021
02400 Kirkkonummi, Uusima, Southern Finland
site extant, but slowly deteriorating
can be visited by the public