Ilona Valkonen: “At Vieno Motors’ Workshops you have a permission to play!”

Ilona Valkonen: “At Vieno Motors’ Workshops you have a permission to play!”

Three Finnish artists Ilona Valkonen, Mimosa Pale and Niina Lehtonen-Braun will run craft workshops this week at Kings Cross. The participants will make decorations for a Christmas tree, from recycled materials and floral elements. The tree will be situated near Granary Square on November. The founder of Vieno Motors Ilona Valkonen tells what to expect.

What is Vieno Motors?

“For years, I was jealous of musicians. When musicians are inspired by each other, they can immediately try what they become together on the stage. Vieno Motors is a way to create the same situation for artists who work with visual materials. I’m a painter, but other participants have been e.g. sculptors and dancers.”

What materials are you using?

“We use floral elements, leftover materials and human body. Unlike florists, we don’t make objects but experiences. When you combine flowers with something ugly you’ll achieve something unexpected. The more unsuitable the material looks like, the better. Flowers give a suggestion how to look at the scrap.”

What’s behind Vieno Motors?

“Humanism is our driving force. What we do is not strictly ecological for we use a lot of materials. But ecological thinking and recycling is part of our work. We encourage the viewers to question does everything always have to be new. We think the urban surroundings as a meadow where we collect the materials.”

Where Vieno Motors has performed?

“Vieno Motors has taken us to unexpected places. We have performed at galleries, performance festival, cruise ship, museums and event at events outside the arts context. Our intention is to challenge the viewer. Art is not purely made to entertain and fulfil given acceptations. It is something confusing combined with positive elements which are enjoyable for the audience.”

What it feels like to come to london with Vieno Motors?

“It is wonderful to come to new surroundings and look at things that are so common for the locals that they have become invisible. For me it is a way to be beginner again.”

What would you say to the participants?

“Everyone can use the techniques that are the most common for them. When you do something for the first time, it will be messy and chaotic. It is safe and even necessary. You need to go through the phase when the result is not clear. In the workshops adults have the permission to play!”

Workshop: Dress Your Friend – Dress a Xmas tree, Granary Building, The Crossing inside Central St Martins, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA. Thursday 25th and Friday 26th of October. 11am – 4pm. Admission: free. Facebook-event.

Text: Anna Suoninen, Photo: Sara Forsius.

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