"The Forest of Dreams" at Koli Ympäristötaidefestivaali

As part of Koli Environmental Art Festival ‘The Forest of Dreams” was created with Kolin School. It was a perfect project to work with during their final week of term before heading off for the summer. An inspiring mix of imagination and observation. The children shared a love of maps and enjoyed the opportunity to create a map of Koli of their own. 

There is a very special delight and sense of adventure embodied in maps and the stories they tell. Ancient maps would include routes and landmarks but also incorporate elements that might enhance the narrative; adding islands, hills and creatures; information on what ‘could’ be there, and with no proof otherwise, why not?

In the self same spirit of adventure and discovery, “Unelmien metsä” shows that

whilst the roads of Koli remain, what lies between them in the forest and lakes is in the hearts, imagination and dreams of school children. Koli is no stranger to story telling and myths. It is part of its heritage. 

As in days of old when explorers would be accompanied by artists and scientists (whose role it was to record observed ‘species’ of special interest), the school children have also observed the native ’species’ of Koli; their research has incorporated everything from wild flowers to man made machinery. This research is evidenced in the border.

Unelmien metsä  tells tales of kings, monsters, and fast food. Who know what lies beyond the hiking trails and what the future might bring.

The map has now been installed in the Koli forest in what appears to be a standard national forest information board. It is placed at the edge of the metsa gallaria and should serve to help you find your way, after all you would not want to become lost with all those monsters in the forest.