Finnish artist Ilkka Halso’s startling designs
Access to nature is something that today we take for granted, the nearest forest or river is usually just a drive away. But in these designs by Finnish artist Ilkka Halso we are confronted with a somber vision of what could be, with the world’s most precious asset, nature, held in captivity for its own protection.
Halso, who has no background in architecture, has designed these in the hope of provoking thought about how we as humans can prevent the deterioration of the natural habitat. He said: “I hope these works are seen as warning signs and raise questions about the state of nature.” He asks, “What would be the alternatives in order to avoid a state where these kind of solutions would be necessary?”
While Halso’s main vision is protection, Nature Museum also represents the worrying concept of human ownership over nature. A theatre is constructed around the base of a waterfall, a rollercoaster track runs through a valley in a themepark of nature and a small patch of forest stands caged and isolated. Halso considers these as ironic designs but believes that in some instances they could be a reality: “I dont see my works as a very plausible solution for anything else than maybe in single cases.” But, he adds, “There is a danger that we might run into similar solutions especially in tourism and entertainment business.”
Nature Museum evolved from Halso’s initial Restoration Works project in 2000 where he created meaningful installations in natural surroundings highlighting the plight of the natural world or as he puts it, ‘imaginative nature restoring’. One of the most eye-catching of these is a dissected tree hanging horizontally in a forest.
Regardless of the message and Halso’s lack of architectural background he has created some incredible visuals and breathtaking designs which highlight the conservation cause and set the mind ticking, a selection of which we feature here.
Niki May Young