A public artwork, visible from 6th of December 2016 to 28th of February 2017 in the facade of the Seppä House in Rauma, Alfredinkatu 3. The artwork can be seen only during dark hours.
The following text is translated from a press release and that is why it is written in third person.
Man has always drawn pictures into different kinds of surfaces such as sand, rocks, ceilings and walls. Graffiti have become an essential part of urban view. Sometimes they are done with a permission, other times not. In general one can say that the bigger the city the more it has graffiti. Sometimes the attitude towards graffiti as an acknowledged form of public art is still in its baby steps – especially in smaller communities such as in the town of Rauma. There are only a few graffiti and mural paintings in Rauma that are made with a permission. So it makes you wonder why couldn’t it be otherwise?
Getting a permission for a graffiti in a public space is not easy. And of course not every place is suitable for them. For example the Unesco World Heritage Site, the Old Rauma is a very challenging place to all kinds of public artworks, not only to graffiti. But outside of the old town there are lots of surfaces, both public and private, that would fit perfectly to urban street art. One example of this is from the last Summer when Thorström and a bunch of school children made over one hundred lace graffiti to the pavement in the main street in Rauma. A story of that case can be read here.
Photon Graffiti speaks out on this case. The artwork is drawn with light – which is of course photons. It can be seen only during dark hours to raise awareness by its form: graffiti are so rare in the town of Rauma that you recoil when you see one as it is so extraordinary. It not only advocates urban street art but also combines two themes that are close to Thorström’s heart. Lace, which the town of Rauma is famous for, is naturally the first one as Thorström is known as a promotor of bobbin lace and contemporary lace art both in Finland and around Europe.
The implementation of the artwork derives to further back in time in Thorström’s way of expressing his artistic self. Before bobbin lace became Thorström’s focus he took old school black and white photographing, developing films and printing photos very seriously. So the name of the Photon Graffiti is a word play. The term photography came to English from Greek (although French was the middleman in this) in which the words phōtós and gráphō mean drawing with light. So, Thorström doesn’t only make lace with thread and paint but also with light. Hence the graffiti is made of photons.
Artists often work around the same subject without any knowledge of each others. Around the same time as working around the idea of Photon Graffiti began one could notice a whole bunch of news of new mural paintings in Finland. So one could say that the Photon Graffiti is very current. In addition to these The Artists’ Association of Finland has recently been promoting public art.
The artwork is funded by the Seppä House Working Committee’s grant which was given by the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s regional (Satakunta) fund. It was given to develop the use of Seppä House and to create artistic program in the house.
PS. If you are interested in lace and light art then check this out:
Light art in the old town hall