The Rainbow’s Treasure

Environmental artwork in the Biowalley, Turku, 2001–2007. Two pedestrian bridges and 24 light poles.

In the late 1990ies Andersson was commissioned to make an environmental work for the new Biowalley in Turku, an area with facilities for companies working in the biotechnology field. The area is also open for citizens in Turku to use for recreation. In the middle of the field a small ditch is running through called Jaaninoja.

The Artwork was made in collaboration with Riia Ruokokoski who is planning the environment for the whole Biowalley. Her idea was to make “ fields”, structuring the space between the buildings, referring to the time when cereals were grown there. The ditch Jaaninoja was given an important role together with “oases” with different trees, where people can sit down and rest. Besides the ditch a bow shaped road is being built through the area.

The road’s bow shape together with the field idea and the biotechnology concept made Andersson’s thoughts go to the rainbow and the old tale about a treasure being hidden where the rainbow ends. To create a rainbow Andersson decided to use the 24 light poles planned to be built along the road. The poles are painted in all the shades of a rainbow from light yellow to dark violet. On the top of each pole a sculpture is turning with the wind and in that way using low tech bio energy. (For more info and pictures, check under the 2001 headline)

The sculptures on the light poles refer to a male and a female bio researcher, who are juggling with cell membranes, mitochondria, viruses etc. As inspiration for these sculptures, drawn in vector graphics and computer cut in aluminium, Andersson used two friends of his, a married couple, one who does research in why cells are dying and the other in what keeps them alive. This part of the work was finished in 2001.

The other part, completed six years later, consists of two iconic pedestrian bridges crossing the Jaaninoja. One of them has a big spade shape, through which you walk when you cross the bridge. The ornate railing creates both iconic openings for children to view the world as well as an ever changing play of light and shadow on the surface of the bridge. The railing changes in height when you move along the bridge, which brings the adult back to his/hers childhood height, when facing the railing on its highest part.

The spade is “stuck into the fields” and symbolizes the digging for the treasure in the end of the rainbow, but also, of course, the research process, which takes part in the Biowalley. The other bridge has three hearts on top of each other. You can walk through the lowest, biggest heart. The smaller hearts both shed a tear bringing forward the dual sided energy of Love, which is the treasure everybody is looking for!