The Brownie of the Turku castle meets Valpuri Innamaa

Art work on the Theatre Bridge, Turku, 1997

Andersson had the opportunity to collaborate with the architect of the new bridge for pedestrians and bicycles over the Aura river in the middle of Turku for a public art work. The work uses characters from the history of Turku and is divided into three parts:

1. Ornamental shapes in different granites, cut by computer-steered sandblasting and then mounted on the bridge. The abstract winding shapes feature the cap of the Brownie of the Turku castle coming from one side of the bridge, meeting with a lock of hair from Valpuri Innamaa coming from the other side. The Brownie is a mythical figure known from the fairy tale written by the Finnish author Zacharias Topelius in the 19th century. Valpuri was an exceptionally successful businesswoman living in the 16th century.

2. On the riverside facing the bridge is a 5 m. long lit display case with a digital drawing showing the meeting between The Brownie and Valpuri. You can also, for the first time in history, see Plato’s cave, which is situated under the Turku castle! Andersson has used the printwork to protest against the demolition of old ornate wooden houses in Turku. Two of these can be seen in the picture of the work. Every now and then the work has to be reprinted and new buildings under threat to be demolished are brought into the artwork.

3. In order to make the narrative part of the work more accessible to people, Andersson wrote the first part of a continuing story about the meeting between the Brownie and Valpuri and put it on the Internet. The idea is that well-known Turku authors, as well as other citizens, will make their own contributions to the story. So far, four parts have been written and more will be written in the future. The story was originally published on (the address is also inserted in stone letters on the cover of the bridge), along with pictures from the bridge. Unfortunately the link doesn’t work anymore, but the three first parts of the story, written by Jan-Erik Andersson and authors Henrik Jansson, Markku Into and Reijo Mäki, can be read on four of the pictures in the slideshow.

Photos: The artwork photographed from above, by Timo Jerkku, Picture with cyclist by Raakkel Närhi, all other photos by Jan-Erik Andersson