EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA celebrates the 50th anniversary of Espoo by gifting a public sculpture – Espoo’s Nelli by Kerttu Horila unveiled on Toppelundinranta beach

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EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art has gifted a public sculpture to the people of Espoo to celebrate the City of Espoo’s 50th anniversary. Espoo’s Nelli is a sculpture by Kerttu Horila that will move to a new location every year as decided by the residents of Espoo. The sculpture was unveiled on Monday, June 6 with the artist in attendance. The gift was accepted on behalf of the people of Espoo by Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

Seated on a blue-gray bench on Toppelundinranta beach is a human-sized figure that welcomes passers-by to sit down beside her. Espoo’s Nelli is a bronze sculpture created by Kerttu Horila to delight both residents and visitors of Espoo. The nomadic sculpture will relocate regularly, bringing joy to a new neighbourhood every year. The Espoo Youth Council will decide its next destination, and that neighbourhood will in turn “pass the baton” to the following one. The sculpture was commissioned by EMMA and will become part EMMA Collection.

Half-human, half-dog, Espoo’s Nelli is a maternally affable figure who cradles a puppy under one arm. The sculpture forms part of Kerttu Horila’s Animal Humans and Human Animals, a series of imaginative storybook creatures fusing animal and human features.

“We at EMMA work actively to bring public art to Espoo. Espoo’s Nelli is a nomadic piece that is designed to delight people all over Espoo. It is a traditional bronze but is painted in bright colours. It is interactive and warmly approachable for people of all ages,” describes Henna Paunu, Chief Curator at EMMA.

Kerttu Horila (b. 1946) is a sculptor best known for her life-sized human figures in public spaces. She works primarily in ceramics but has also created a number of public bronzes. She has stated that her sculptures are based on careful people watching and observation of the features, gestures and expressions that lend them their uniquely human qualities.

As part of its work in the sphere of public art, EMMA displays a significant number of pieces from its collection around the city, where it can be enjoyed by all visitors and residents. Espoo’s Nelli is the museum’s gift to Espoo and its residents on the occasion of the city’s 50th anniversary. Take a selfie with Nelli and share it on social media. By adding the tags @emmamuseum and @espooesbo, you can join in congratulating Espoo in its special year!

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Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
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Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
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Artist Kerttu Horila with Espoo's Nelli.
Artist Kerttu Horila with Espoo's Nelli.
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The gift was accepted on behalf of the people of Espoo by Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. In picture: Jukka Mäkelä and EMMA's director Pilvi Kalhama.
The gift was accepted on behalf of the people of Espoo by Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. In picture: Jukka Mäkelä and EMMA's director Pilvi Kalhama.
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Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Espoo’s Nelli, Kerttu Horila, 2022. EMMA Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
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About EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Ahertajantie 5
02100 Espoo

http://www.emmamuseum.fi

EMMA – Espoon modernin taiteen museon kokoelma- ja näyttelytoiminta profiloituu kotimaiseen ja kansainväliseen modernismiin, nykytaiteeseen sekä designiin. EMMA sijaitsee Espoon Tapiolassa, professori Aarno Ruusuvuoren suunnittelemassa betoniarkkitehtuuria edustavassa Näyttelykeskus WeeGeessä. Näyttelytilat ovat pinta-alaltaan Suomen suurimmat, ja pelkistetty moderni arkkitehtuuri tukee EMMAn, Saastamoisen säätiön ja Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Säätiön kokoelmien sekä vaihtuvien näyttelyiden kokemuksellista esittämistä. Tervetuloa!

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