tuula närhinen


Johanna Spyri’s Heidi (1880) has long been a little girls’ favourite. Heidi, a child of nature, is the picture of health and vigour in the mountains but withers and falls ill in town. In Spyri’s Heidi novels, the Alps symbolize purity and vitality, and Heidi herself is the selfless model girl. She is the sunshine in the life of her lonely grandfather, blind grandmother, the goatherd Peter and the crippled girl Klara.
Growing up in a town, Spyri’s rich depiction of nature and landscape made an enormous impression on me. Heidi breathes fresh mountain air, drinks pure goat’s milk, picks fragrant Alpine flowers, feels the warmth of the sun on her skin and listens to the wind at night in the evergreen trees. In the evening, I dreamed of falling asleep like Heidi, by an open window in the fresh air. Through her experiences Heidi becomes part of her surroundings, an embodiment of the wholesome Alpine landscape.
By staging some of the main scenes of the story in Alpine scenery, I have sought to make use of my own experiences to identify the elements that fascinate little girls and in all probability shed light on their world

See more images of the project:

  • Alice
  • Zazie
  • Installation views
  • > back to Heidi,Alice,Zazie

  • HEIDI exhibited in Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki (2002)
    HEIDI - To the mountains
    HEIDI - Goats - Above the mountains- Heidi's trunk - Frankfurt-die Alpen
    HEIDI - Goats
    HEIDI - Frankfurt-die Alpen
    HEIDI - Frankfurt-die Alpen
    HEIDI - Klara's story
    HEIDI - Alpengluehen - A night on the Alps