July 28, 2011

Matti Lepistö, Sculpture garden

 pictures courtesy of Matti Lepistö

Raahe is a historic city in Finland, located along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. The city's touristic website boasts its well preserved 19th century wood-built character and among its cultural attractions it recommends Matti Lepistö's sculpture garden.  

Life and works

Matti Lepistö (1948) sees himself as a self-taught artist. All his life he was interested in visual art and as a youngster he made wooden sculptures and  drawings. However, to earn a living. he went to work as a machinist in a metal factory.

He had this job for some twentyfour years, untill in 1991 he decided to terminate it and to devote his life to creative activities. According to him, it was an unavoidable choice.

Lepistö since then has been making a lot of sculptures, using a technique he has developed himself. As he describes in his website (in finnish), it's done by applying layers of a mixture of white concrete and white quartz mortar on a pre-modelled frame of iron and gaze. The creations are painted with an appropriate paint in an appropriate colour.

As he describes this method of working, it seems that everyone could do it, but although the technique may be a basic element, a creative talent is needed to make sculptures as Lepistö does.

Matti Lepistö has been quite productive, making small and big, rather naturalistic sculptures of all kinds of persons and animals,  but also more symbolic works like big eggs from which new human or animal life appears.

A number of his works have been sold, but some 250 sculptures are exhibited in the garden around his house in Pattijoki in the outskirts of the city of Raahe. It is good to note that Raahe town refers visitors to this sculpture garden. 

Documentation, more pictures
Matti Lepistö's website
* note and pictures on ITEnet
* series of pictures on Facebook (2015)

first published july 2011, revised aug 2015

Matti Lepistö
Sculpture garden
Mansikkakarintie 200
92140 Raahe, Northern Ostrobothnia, Northern Finland

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