May 24, 2024

Leena Nio, Kimara mosaiikkinäyttely / Kimara mosaic exhibition

pictures courtesy of Raya Kalioinen, MSL

Jokela is a community with about 6,000 inhabitants, part of the Finnish municipality of Tuusula, located about 50 km north of Helsinki.

Life and works

Leena Nio was born in Jokela in 1963. 

She already showed artistic talent as a young girl when she became a winner in a drawing competition for children.  And as a high school student she won a prize in a photo-taking competition that included a three-week trip to Canada.

In 1979 and 1980 she spent a year in the United States as part of a student exchange program. In that context, she also learned to speak English well.

Leena apparently enjoyed traveling, because she subsequently spent a few summers in Germany and then moved to Paris, where she stayed for eight years and taught English.

In 2004, still living in Paris, she had an experience that was of great significance for the rest of her life: 
her dormant passion for making mosaic was sparked.

There is a story that says that when entering a small Parisian art shop, she realized that this was the world that actually suited her. Leena herself said in a publication that she was triggered by an article about the French mosaic artist Virginie Loÿ.

Either way, the experience led her to decide to return to Finland to work there as a non-professional mosaic maker.

She was welcome to return to the home of her parents, who meanwhile had retired and who enjoyed having her around in the house that was large enough to provide her with not only shelter, but also a place to work as an artist. 

Moreover, the house was located in a rural area slightly outside the built-up area of Jokela and there was sufficient green space to install any larger creations.

The photos in this post show that this space has been gratefully used indeed. 

From the moment Leena Nio started making mosaics, a colorful exhibition of mosaics with a wide variety of attractive works came about in the green area around the house.

Circular signs with mosaic, mounted on small posts, decorate a lawn near the house in a special way, as shown in the image above, while as in the image below, the wall of a shed near the house is decorated with mosaic on a surface in all kinds of shapes,

Nowadays there is also a 500 meter long walking path available, along which mosaic creations are displayed.

* Website of MSL with info about openings dates and hours in 2024
* Website of Middle of Nowhere with a variety of pictures and a page about the Art Trail
* Website by Leena Nio, with an extensive presentation of her mosaics and some personal notes

 * Video (December 2023, YouTube, 0.59) by Middle of Nowhere

* Video (September 2023, YouTube, 1'27") by Maaseudun Sivistysliitto (MSL)

Leena Nio
Kimara mosaic exhibition
Tiensuuntie 112
Jokela, part of Tuusula, dept Uusimaa, region Southern-Finland, Finland
can be visited, see this website for opening hours
Google Streetview, with a series of photos of the site

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