Nordic Outsider Craft Exhibition Opens!

April 28-December 2, 2018
The Craft Museum of Finland
Kauppakatu 25, 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland (map)
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The Craft Museum of Finland


Pehmeetä touhua – Nordic Outsider Craft exhibition opens to the public April 28 in Jyväskylä

The main exhibition of the year in the Craft Museum of Finland breaks the boundaries of handicraft tradition and surprises the audience by revealing craft based outsider art from the Nordic countries. The exhibition is on display from April 28 to December 2, 2018. Pehmeetä touhua goes wild with the materials while also giving space to the uncompromising skill and diligence that are required in the making of the works.


Pehmeetä touhua exhibition is a playful peek to the outsider art in the Nordic countries

Couple of hundred kilograms of massive-knit made of plastic bags, free crochet wolf hybrid, 60 pieces of needlepoint of Swedish districts. In addition, a handicraft enthusiast Anna with her sheep Lassi, a fifty-kilogram yarn ball and aphorisms twisted of iron wire. These are a preview of the works in the Pehmeetä touhua exhibition.


One can dive into the massive-knit installation by Danish Kenneth Rasmussen and Icelandic Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir’stightly packaged dolls tempt to play with them. The light bulb tiles by Norwegian Torstein Nilsen are conversing smoothly with miniatures inside the light bulbs that are made by Samuli Sarkkila from Raahe. Lauri Mäkäräinen has made series of skillful wooden sculptures of celebrities, whereas Swedish Magnus Östling respects his homeland by the series of needlepoint works about the different corners of the country with their special characteristics. In addition, the textile works by the Kellokoski Princess Anna Lappalainen are seen in the exhibition. The exhibition features works from nearly 40 artist, half of which are from Finland and the other half from other Nordic countries.


Pehmeetä touhua shows what happens when handicraft does not follow the conventional rules, but goes wild with the joy of techniques and materials. However, self-expression goes hand in hand with the esteem of uncompromising skill and diligence that are required from the practicer of slow and laborious handicraft techniques. The techniques of the works range from soft textiles to ceramics and wood sculpting.


The exhibition of outsider art in the Craft Museum of Finland challenges the verges of creativity and promotes the expressive power of handicraft techniques, the daring and the self-expression of the individual. Pehmeetä touhua exhibition breaks the boundaries of handicraft tradition and surprises the audience by revealing craft based outsider art from the Nordic countries. 


Pehmeetä touhua defends soft values in art. Outsider art refers to such margins in art as self-taught artists and artists with special needs. The exhibition declares that art belongs to everyone, and that there is not a single way to make works of art. Everybody has an equal right to express themselves with visual arts and creative artistic handicrafts. Attention has been paid also to the accessibility of information materials and related events. In the exhibition, there are films, in which the artists tell about their art.

The curators of the exhibition are Art researcher Minna Haveri and Curator Elina Vuorimies from K. H. Renlund museum.


Nordic Outsider Craft project

Pehmeetä touhua exhibition in the Craft Museum of Finland is the first and the main exhibition in the wider Nordic Outsider Craft project, which presents Nordic outsider craft. After Jyväskylä the exhibition travels to all the Nordic countries as a smaller curated composition and finally ends up in the K.H. Renlund Museum in Kokkola.


The project is based on a strong Nordic partnership network. The project and exhibition tour are administered by the K.H. Renlund Museum in Kokkola. In addition to the Craft Museum of Finland the partners are Norwegian Trastad Collections in Borkenes, Danish Bifrost Art School and Studio in Randers, Swedish Inuti Foundation in Stockholm and Icelandic Safnasafnið Museum in Akureyri. Additionally, as a guardian and networker for handicapped and others needing special support the Kettuki Art Centre offers the project its expertise on special art activity issues.


The Nordic Outsider Craft project was started with the help of OPSTART grant from the Cultural Foundation. Later it has been supported by the foundation’s HANDMADE themed funding and by the help of the Swedish Cultural Foundation.


The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Foundation and the Nordic Culture Point have assisted the curator visits. The Uusimaa Regional Fund has supported the production of the part of the exhibition presenting the art embroidery by the Kellokoski Princess Anna Lappalainen.




Gurli M. Hansen 
Kenneth Rasmussen

Brit Lisbeth Johnsen 
Herleik Kristiansen 
Torstein Nilsen
Wenche Nilsen


Camilla Holmqvist
Chang Im Ohlson
Sara Saremi
Patricia Sigurd
Community artwork
Magnus Östling

Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir
Pálína Erlendsdóttir                   
Svava Skúladóttir
Ragnar Hermansson
Guðjón R. Sigurðsson

Eivor Bennert
Paul Gustafsson
Vilho Halmekari
Seppo Inkinen
Kellokoski Princess
Rikhard Koivisto
Alpo Koivumäki
Elisa Kärjä
Seppo Laatunen
Henna Laulainen
Torsten Lundmark
Lauri Mäkäräinen
Aleksi Pietikäinen
Jyri Rastas
Matti Rauhaniemi
Mirjami Rautio
Miia Ruohonen
Samuli Sarkkila
Eini Saukkonen
Helinä Savonen
Johanna Seppä

The Craft Museum of Finland
Kauppakatu 25, 40100 Jyväskylä, Finland
Open Ti-Sun 11-18. At summer time Ti-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-16, Sun 11-18.


Craft Museum of Finland

The National Costume Center of Finland

tel. +358 50 413 9051


Visit us: Kauppakatu 25, 40100 Jyväskylä

Postal address: Kilpisenkatu 12, 40100 Jyväskylä

Billing: BasWare Oyj, välittäjätunnus BAWCFI22, ovt-tunnus 003701746664600


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