Bachelard’s Flame

Metal relief, painted facade plates, programmed LED lights. On the facade of VäriÄssät Ltd. storage building, Puunaulakatu 6, Pori, 2018

The CEO of the VäriÄssät company, Vesa Alanko commissioned me to make a work, which would “cheer up the people going to work or home during the long dark winter days”. The idea came to me naturally through a memory of reading the book The Flame of a Candle by philosopher Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962). Bachelard discusses the role of the flame for imagination and daydreaming. At the same time the work is a tribute to the whole production of Bachelard, whose interest has been the relationship between science and art, or as he himself said, ” that he had the feet of a philosopher of science but the wings of a poet”. The work alludes to this by being made of very strict geometrical shapes, contrasted to organic, free floating lines and shapes from nature.

The work was planned in collaboration with the architect of the building, Sebastian Kuttner. My aim was to make the work as an organic part of the building. A result of this is that the two ventilation windows became the eyes of Bachelard and the part of the building made of facade plates, became the background sky. The flame has its place at the end of the blue spiral. In between is a fir tree, penetrated by primary shapes. Around the corner of the building a part of a large sun can be seen.

During the dark hours the work is lit by programmable LED lights, which are placed behind the metal reliefs.