Exhibition in Pegasus Library: Suomen maakuntakukat luonnonystävän korvatyynyissä 13.5.–30.9.2023
When the preventive measures of the COVID-19 quarantined the elderly in the spring of 2020, Marjatta and Pertti Kaikkonen were given the opportunity to put into practice their ideas of "nature's friend’s decorative pillows". Both in working life and in their leisure time, Pertti and Marjatta Kaikkonen are well acquainted with different natural environments. Marjatta Kaikkonen taught schoolchildren plants and provincial flowers during her working years as a lecturer of the Oulu University Teacher Training School (Oulun normaalikoulu). Professor Emeritus of geophysics at the University of Oulu, Pertti Kaikkonen, has photographed the plant world during different seasons, as well as the Finnish provincial flowers.
The printing models were created by Marjatta based on the photos taken by Pertti and herbariums they both collected during high school in the 1960s. Pillow fabrics are old cotton textiles qualified for reuse. All in all, more than a hundred pillows were made at the Kaikkonen home — mainly to delight friends and family, some for sale to support the music studies of grandchildren.
Plants have many meanings. With climate change and loss of species, the importance of plants as enablers of the survival of the bio-world is increasingly recognized. In many countries plants also have symbolic values of beauty, even political meanings. In addition, they have had purely natural or practical uses. The Finnish provincial flowers were chosen in a newspaper vote organized at the initiative of Suomen Kotien Kukkasrahasto in 1982. There are currently 21 provincial flowers in Finland from Åland’s cowslip to Lapland’s globe-flower.