Sculptor and lecturer of Fine Arts
Works in Helsinki, Finland
Member of Arabian art department society and Association of Finnish Sculptors
Sakari Kannosto graduated from the Academy of Fine arts of Helsinki 2005. He has been a sculptor and a lecturer of fine arts since then.
In 2019 Sakari Kannosto worked as a visiting artist in residence at the Arabia Art Department in Helsinki. After the residency he was chosen as a permanent member of the department starting from January 2020.
Kannosto’s medium is sculpture and installation. He works with different materials, from ceramics to recycled metal and ready-mades. The scale varies from hand-holdable sculptures to hall-covering installations.
The first impression can be light and funny but there is always a deeper level and also dark humor in Kannosto’s art.
For Kannosto the connection between material and subject matter is important. In ceramics the combination of roughly sculpted surface and bright glazing brings out the story of archaic creatures.
Environmental issues are a continuing theme in Kannosto’s work. Trips to Africa and India brought up concerns for nature. This lead to animal sculptures with a weighty message. In 2014 he was granted an honorary award for environmental education for his work as a lecturer and educator.
Themes of current ceramic works
Kannosto’s animal sculptures are mystical and powerful, figures with magic powers. They are meant to empower and protect.
Our relationship with nature is ambivalent. Fairytales, folklore and animistic heritage are still deeply present in Finnish culture. It was believed that a forest, a lake and trees each had their own spirit. The spirits could also shapeshift into different forms, from a plant to an animal and vice versa. The animals are intermediators that move between different worlds.
The title of the series Shadowy Waters comes from the lyrics of Finnish national anthem.
In the series you can find a variety of fairytale creatures: annoyed moles, upset earthworms and fishes from the future who look like people at one glance and like themselves at another. The series originated from a news article about a lake that was being cleaned with a chemical.
The well-being of fishes and birds shows indications of the state of nature and of us as well. The personalities and intents of Kannosto’s animals can be seen on their humanlike faces.
‘The Fishes on the Wall’ sculptures refer to an exclamation mark. There is a pike character who climbs up a tree to sing in old Finnish folk tales. The series tells a story about changing times and new adabted abilities. The fishes can also be seen as charms for power and strenght.
‘Smiley’, ‘Mr Red’ and ‘Strawberry’ of the ‘Red Squadron’ series have references to our current world. They can be seen like emojis in social media.
The main character of ‘Family’ is an arctic loon, a diver bird. It is a powerful actor in Scandinavian mythology. In this art piece the loon has a blended family. The sculpture is about happines and surviving the challenges constantly changing everyday life.