Mushroom World

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Wild mushrooms are my paint, Finnish forest my art studio, and the underwater world my inspiration.

As a former diving instructor, I used to escape Finland’s chilly winters to the vibrant coral reefs. This autumn I started spending more time in the nearby forest, and suddenly the strange forms and colors of the moss, rotting tree trunks, critters and mushrooms brought me back to the reefs. I started learning their names, and the forest began to feel like home. I get excited about all those wonderfully colorful, toxic mushrooms I previously ignored.

The more time I spent in the forest, the more beauty I saw around me. Before long, mushrooms became my paint, and the forest my art studio.

A very unforgiving studio, as a matter of fact. I often spend five or six hours looking for mushrooms for just one creation.

If I realize one day later that I would like to rearrange something in my creation, it’s already too late. The gills of the mushrooms have withered and lost those vibrant colors. Mister and Madame Snails have munched holes into the caps, and trees have covered my creations with falling leaves.

I can’t plan any of my mushroom art in advance, either, because I never know what kind of mushrooms I end up finding. I have to take what nature decides to give me that day and work with that.

So it was a surprise for me when I looked back and realized that so many of my dreamy creations were inspired by the underwater world. I guess it’s just natural – we dream about what we love.

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