Tuuli Saarekas 1988 Finland
The fountain idea was based on one of my previous works from 2013. In this work, I had stacked a variety of egg cartons cast in plaster. On top of the bar, I had put small handmade funnels of plaster so that it looked as if something had run into the stack.
Why egg cartons? I collected them when I was working at a gas station. We, who worked there, piled them on the fridge in the kitchen until the pile became so high that it had to be carried away, to recycling or elsewhere. As the slowly rising pile reminded me about the passage of time, and because I thought the egg cartons were a visually interesting material, I decided to take them to my studio.
At my studio I was inclined to pour something into the cups in the egg cartons. I poured drywall because even the eggs are white and contain lime. Like eggshells, the plaster castings were hard and fragile. But instead of having looked like eggs they looked like decorative tiles. I thought the handmade and unique egg cartons created an interesting contradiction in the way they represented the industrially manufactured egg cartons of cardboard. It was also exciting to be like a machine and repeat the same shape, one after the other.
I chose aluminum for the main material for the fountain, because the stacked the egg cartons cast in aluminum out in the light and in the running water gave me interesting associations. Aluminium was also a practical choice because I already had a lot of unused aluminum at my studio, and since I had a feeling that aluminum could be resistant to outdoor stresses: Rain, heat, wind and even fire to a certain temperature.
When I designed my fountain, I was looking for literature on fountains to support my experience knowledge of the subject. The books I found made me think more about water and its different meanings: the interface between architecture and sculpture, and the links between these two areas and the fountain as a art. The pictures in the books also helped me to visualize how the water would rise and fall into my own fountain.
The fountainproject differed from my previous projects in the sense that it was more like a group work than an independent work at the studio. My role was to serve as a project manager and to be responsible for the “work community”, as well as being a craftsman and pupil. At the same time as I led the project and kept an eye on the budget and timetable,
my colleague me in casting: various casting methods and the use of metal tools. When it was to be cast, I always had to find someone else to help me with pouring aluminium in the moulds. I also needed an assistant when the casting chutes would be cut off. In addition, I could not carry the heavy materials alone. My blacksmith friend made the basin and pump system. So the fountain has been made in cooperation and is in itself a meeting point: “Shall we meet at the fountain?”. Hence, it expresses the synergy and is a unifying factor.
Since the fountain was finished I have been asked what it is about. Sometimes when I’ve been unsure, I’ve tried to say something clever about the fountain or something that would make it look interesting in the past, for example that it takes a position on industrial production, depletion of natural resources, erosion, the appearance of tall buildings and contemporary building methods. Although I partly thought of these not so far-fetched questions, is probably the most honest answer that the fountain is about personal remembrance, loneliness, and about learning new abilities. And though.