Marja-Leena Rathje
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Finnish rock art exhibition


I am delighted to have received an invitation to Ismo Luukkonen's exhibition Marked on Rock - Photographs of Prehistoric Rock Paintings at the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki. The exhibition is open June 16th to September 18th, 2011. More information and a few photos here.

I know Ismo has photographed rock art in many countries so I queried about it and he confirmed to me that all the photos in this exhibit are of prehistoric rock paintings located around different areas of Finland. Do check out Ismo Luukkonen's extensive website, especially the Finnish pictographs.

This is a subject close to my heart on many levels so I'm sad that I will not be able to be there for the opening and meet the photographer, nor is it likely that I'll see the exhibition during its long run (unless the goddess of rock art waves a magic wand and a plane ticket in my direction).

My congratulations and best wishes to Ismo Luukkonen on this exhibition. I hope some of my Finnish readers and anyone else who may be in Helsinki will visit the exhibition and share impressions and photos!

Related: Previous posts about Ismo Luukkonen and his work in July 2004, February 2005, and most recently February 2011.


It's not long time ago, you thought you might make it to Finland this summer. How sad, that you can't!

You could get to speak Finnish, find good books (yes, I know they weigh too much!), maybe go to see some rock site yourself!

I was already thinking what might possibly intrest you here in Vaasa. No, not awfully much going on here, though. Except that you would get to talk with some local artists!

But it is nice that you make it known about our rock paintings. It looks like they're constantly finding new sites.

Marja-Leena! Isn't there some way you could get over there for the exhibit? What a pity!

Ripsa, I know, I'm long overdue for a visit to Finland. The last time was in 2002 when I had that exhibition in Vaasa and I did not spend much time there then, since I'd been in 2000. I really want to see the rock paintings, especially Astuvansalmi which is not too far from where I come from. Anyway, I can still hope that something will work out!

Hattie, maybe something will work out, I'm not ruling out hope yet, thanks!

Oh, shame if you can't go. It's a shame we can't just teleport where we want, for free, isn't it?

Lucy, yes, I always wish that whenever I hear of many fantastic exhibitions in Europe or anywhere!

Marja-Leena, thank you for the exhibit information! How funny that I hear about it from Canada:) Well,in Finland there are lots of shows going on specially in the summertime.
It would be lovely to meet you, hope that will happen some day. In July my husband and I will spend a few days in San Francisco on our way to Hawaii to meet my aunt and cousin who live there. We are not able to visit Vancouver this time though:(

Leena, I hope to meet you one day too, in Finland and or Vancouver! Will you see this show? I'd love to hear your reactions to it. How lucky to have family to visit in Hawaii!

Well, I hope that some extravagantly wealthy person with his own Tardis sweeps you off to rock-art adventure in Finland!

Hand prints like that always set met thinking and wondering about the owner of the hand. Waving or drowning?

Marly, wouldn't that be great?!

Joe, yes, these images do raise interesting questions like that and as you know I've blogged about hands in rock art a few times. Also, I'm recalling a wee discussion we had last year about some fiction books about prehistoric cave man, and you'd mentioned Wm Golding's The Inheritors which I acquired and read. I may have mentioned Jean M. Auel's Earth Children series. I'm now reading her latest and last in the series called The Land of Painted Caves with vivid descriptions of the pictographs and some petroglyphs in Europe. How very timely when being immersed in both Gabriola's First Nations Art and now this exhibition of Finnish pictographs!