A covered wagon with a sign on the side saying "Plant Based Stories" sits in a city square, surrounded by various flowers.

Mirella Pendolin, Pia Sirén, Ilona Valkonen: Plant Based Stories

all ages Price: 0 € Length: 2 h (durational) Language: English, Swedish & Finnish

The nocturnal violet hunt,
The bad parsley,
The confessions of an aubergine,
Green algae slides,
Las Palmeras,
Granny’s opium flowers,
The turtle that wasn’t an onion,
The divorce birch,
…and other stories

An oasis open to everyone appears in Hanko, inviting the audience to share personal stories inspired by plants. In exchange, the participants receive a wearable plant sculpture made by the artists.

Plant Based Stories is a three-year project by Pia Sirén, Ilona Valkonen and Mirella Pendolin, which runs from Kuopio to Helsinki to Hanko. The project takes the form of a workshop, a performance, and finally a living monument.

In Hanko, Plant Based Stories meets the audience at Brankis’ backyard. The stories are recorded and transcribed into the working group’s story archive, upon which the next stages of the project – which deal with the human-plant relationship – are built. The search includes personal memories or anecdotes in which a member of the plant kingdom plays the main role. After the collection phase, the project will change its form into a performance based on stories (in 2023) and finally into a public plant monument (in 2024).

Pia Sirén (born in 1982) is a visual artist who builds large-scale, temporary works of installation art out of construction materials and works on sculptural, performative and varied collaborative projects. Sirén creates her artwork both in public outdoor spaces and in exhibition spaces.

Mirella Pendolin (born in 1975) is a Swedish-speaking, half-Finnish and half-Spanish multi-talent in music from Vaasa: a singer, musician, pedagogue, composer and actor.

Ilona Valkonen (born in 1980) is a visual artist whose working approach involves suggestions for alternative ways to look at and understand the world. Valkonen works with new forms of painting, collegial curation and a performance concept called Vieno Motors created through collaboration.

Plant Based Stories is part of Kulkue, a joint project between three Finnish art festivals. ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival (Kuopio), Hangö Teaterträff (Hanko), and Baltic Circle (Helsinki) create an exceptionally large-scale series of Finnish co-productions along with related tours. The project’s central goal is to promote the accessibility of the festivals and to prolong the life cycle of the performances. The project is financed by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.