Palsta / A Little Paradise
Sept 6 – Sept 30
Palsta Finnish allotment plots are mostly arable-sized leasable farmland that can be rented for non-commercial gardening. The Helsinki metropolitan area has about 70 different plot areas and thousands of plot farmers. Having been an allotment gardener for decades and photographed and interviewed hundreds of allotment gardeners, I have realised the following: The allotment gives you valuable produce – lovely local food, organic and grown by yourself. But, more than anything else, it is a gateway to a different state of mind. The allotment is surrounded by invisible walls that block out the demands and pressures of the surrounding world. The allotment is a cure for every ailment: it gives you rest if you are too busy, a social network if you are lonely, and meaning if you are excluded. It is a place for creativity and dreams. Birth, growth and death are ever-present there – the miracle of natural cycles. The allotment plot is a small paradise on Earth.
A Little Paradise Urban living can be full of rules and schedules, making many of us long for a place we can define ourselves. A place that takes our daily lives beyond the ordinary: a small, wild space we can lose ourselves in, feel needed, and sink our hands into the soil to find our roots. Places like this can be found in almost every town and city. They may be hidden in the heart of the city, on its outskirts, or may even be visible in all their glory in prime locations. I have photographed a few of these areas in Finland and Estonia, having some wonderful experiences along the way and admiring the power of creativity and the earth.Sanni Seppo
Sanni Seppo uses photography as a primarily social and documentary instrument. The media of her artistic work are photography and text. In her work, she has depicted people living in different countries and cultures who through their lifestyle and actions seek to influence society, its values, its ideas of happiness, and its change. The themes of her work include encounters with other people and cultures, and the relationship between humanity and nature.
Sanni Seppo is one of the founders of the Political Photography Festival (PVF) and serves as its artistic director together with Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger. This year, she was awarded the Helsinki Culture Award (2021). Seppo has also received the Literature Prize of the Finnish Art Association (2009), the State Prize for Disclosure of Information (working group, 2009) and the Environmental Prize of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (2006). In 1997, Sanni Seppo received the Finland Award.