pictures from the website of the museum
The Putajan Yksityinen Maatalousmuseo (Private Agricultural Museum) in Putaja, Finland, has an outside area which has been transformed into a sculpture park, featuring some thirty sculptures made by autodidact sculptor Tauno Vuorenniemi.
The sculptures depict rural life as it was in former days.
Life and works
Born in 1935 in Suodenniemi, Finland, Tauno Vuorenniemi in 1969 moved to Sweden, where he had a company in refinishing vehicles.
All his life full of artistic aspirations and occasionaly making small sculptures from clay and/or fiberglass, Vuorenniemi actually could give shape to his talent when in 1995, in his early sixties, he got more free time when he no longer could do his job because of an accident.
Familiar with fiberglass, he began making life-sized sculptures from this material, for the first time depicting a deer, modeled on a picture in a book he got from the local library.
It so happened that Vuorenniemi had a nephew, Arto Vuorenniemi, who in Putaja, Finland, run a private museum where he exposed all kinds of agricultural machinery. Arto and Tauno developed a plan to transform an outside area of the museum into an environment with sculptures that would evoke the ambience of rural life in former days, before farming became industrialized.
With the help of a finnish organisation active in (cultural) development of rural areas in Finland, that financed the materials, it was possible to realise this plan indeed, and after living for some 35 years in Sweden, Vuorenniemi re-settled in 2004 in Finland, going to live in Putaja.
All together the environment has some 31 life-sized sculptures, which depict scenes such as a farmer with a horse-drawn plow, a peasant woman milking a cow, a woman feeding chicken......and so on.....
Done in a very realistic style, with a lot of attention to the finishing of the details, the sculptures are not painted, although the fiberglass may be mixed or finished with yellow colored sand, while some grey sand may be used to accentuate details.
Some creations by Vuorenniemi (not meant for the sculpture park) have been bought by private collectors.
When he reached his late seventies, the artist stopped making life-sized sculptures.
* A video (1'38", 2017) by ITE Pirkanmaalla
Putaja 1919, Suodenniemi, Finland
open to the public (part of local agricultural museum)