The work Édouard the Velvet Foot by artist Hanna Marno is made from parts of wood that have been received as donations from private persons in the area around Northen Satakunta, and especially from the municipality of Siikainen where Marno resides. Marno has also used pigments from mushrooms, like from velvet food (samettijalka in Finnish) that is mentioned in the name of the work, to provide colourful surface treatment for the sculpture.

Marno has deliberately made this sculpture on this particular location and has thought about the position of the piece in relationship with the riverbank and the surrounding area, as well as the visual layout of the work in close proximity with the popular recreational site Kirjurinluoto area and the backdrop of the fountain in the middle of the Kokemäenjoki river.

I think that the story of Édouard in Pori and in the river bank of Kokemäenjoki in Eteläranta is a work about the materials of a landscape. These ingredients are usually not visible in the landscape view itself. From the perspective of an artist in the landscape-view one aims to show the past, the present and the future without ever succeeding in this aim.”

Marno has also thought about the well-known work Luncheon on the Grass by Édouard Manet where from the name of the piece also derives from. The persons in this famous work get transformed as wooden sculptural figure and Marno has utilised her background from film and photography studies to form the composition.

“I named the figure as Édouard the Velvet Foot in spring 2023. The atmosphere of the character derives from Diderot’s humorous book ‘Jacques the Fatalist’. One important referent was also Victoria Finlay’s book ‘Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox’, and Harry Salmenniemi’s ‘Uhrisyndrooma’ [victimsyndrome], where colours are painted as akin to political impressions. I have also thought of (painter Édouard) Manet’s work and the intentionality and provocation of it from the position of the painting ‘Luncheon on the Grass’, that irritated me when I was a teen, but which I have decided to understand differently, as a purposeful ribbing towards lordship.”

In Marno’s work local aspects are important as a sort of “ergonomic medium”. It means not only working from those materials that are present and that one finds around oneself but also setting the works to places and environments that are near the materials.

”My contemporary material interests are in wood, trees and colours and pigments, as well as binding ingredients, gathered from the near-by nature. I myself make most of the surface finish materials I use. I have been moving away from the materials used in car and boat industry for over five years, and nowadays I aim to adapt the practices learned from using these industrial grade materials to renewable natural materials. This material transition has changed the durational aspects of my work, enlarged my storage needs, but also created new communities as well as material families around me.”

BIOGRAPHY: Hanna Marno (b. 1981, Helsinki) is a sculptor and environmental artist that lives and works at Siikainen, Satakunta. Marno has graduated as M.F.A from the University of Arts as well as studied in Carnagie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the United States, as well has attended film studies in Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and studied media art in Tampere University of Applied Studies. Marno’s work has been presented in galleries and in museums in Finland and abroad as well as Marno has made works in public space, also installed in natural environment. This summer Marno’s works can be seen also in the Mänttä Art Festival.

Marno’s wooden pieces from the sculpture Édouard the Velvet Foot presented in Eteläranta will be also utilised in a Puuaarre (translated as wood treasure) installed in Siikainen later this year.

The materials received as donations from Siikainen and the community around: Simo and Pirkko Aho, Lea Järviluoma, Jarkko (Merikarvia), Marko and Mia Vettenranta, Sari and Tomi Starck, Seppo Mäkinen, Eija Lepistö, Ville Vaho, Erkki Viljanen.

Wood materials that have been purchased: Pekka Muuttomaa.

Mushrooms: The Velvet Foot, Surprise Webcap, Cinnamon Webcap, Saffron Webcap, Dyer’s Mazgill/Dyer’s Polypore, Zoned Phellodon/Zoned Cork Hydrum.

Surface treatment materials: shell lac, ethanol, tar, turpentine, varnish, linseed oil, pine resin, iron sulphate, wheat flour, rye flour (Satakunta area, and the mill of Tölli, Nummi-Pusula), earth pigments, D4 glue, bolts, grass (green dye).

Influenses for the work: ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ by Manet (1863), landscape from the perspective of its ownership, hip, nails, keratin systems, the line of the foot of The Velvet Foot, hoary frost on cep, arising, tumbling, crawling, uncertified movement, the wood material itself, the city of Pori, the slenderness of old industrial buildings, the Reposaari bridge, the river landscape, the forests of Northern Satakunta, especially the rectory’s forest in Siikainen.

Assistant: Susanna Vettenranta

General aid: Ville Vaho

Tractor logistics: Marko Vettenranta

Grass cutter: Jarmo Lehtinen

Édouard the Velvet Foot is being produced under the framing of KORSI commissions programme that aims to strengthen the presence of visual arts in the region as well as provide a way for the artists to actualise their work in a discursive relationship with the Pori Art Museum as well as accompanying professionals in the art field utilising also the resources and support of the museum. The processes involved in making a new commission piece will expand beyond the museum walls and around Satakunta area (consisting of 16 municipalities) also opening further possibilities for encountering art and reaching new audiences.

The support of the KORSI foundation enables the execution of the programme. The purpose of the KORSI foundation is to promote frugality and economic wellbeing, sustainable development and accountability as well as widely support cultural and scientific endeavours that take place in the Satakunta region that nurture and promote its vitality.

Event information

07.06.2024 - 29.09.2024
Taideaukio [Art Square], Eteläranta, Pori