tuula närhinen


The artwork is located in an Upper Secondary School in Oulu town in northern Finland. The school was built in 1908 and it has a prominent collection of stuffed animals, especially of different bird species, gathered over the years for the needs of science education.My aim was to link the new work of art to the existing scientific collection by creating a new department of rare or imaginary birds.
The idea goes back to the beginnings of the scientific collections in the fifteenth century - a museum called Wunderkammer or Curiosity cabinet - where all the wonders of nature were represented.The collection of fifty five birds decorates the stairwells and hallways of the1960s annex building of the school. As one might expect to find in a natural history museum, many of the imaginary creatures are classified with Latin names and equipped with a text plate telling the story of that bird species.
But the collection of complete creatures, skeletons, sets of beaks, nests, feathers, embryos and eggs carefully mounted and displayed in acrylic cases and glass jars were made largely from materials found around in the nature, flea markets or hobby shops. The owl-like creature is composed of birch bark, driftwood and fragments of a mole’s skull. On close examination, the mounted skeletons are a collage of animal, bird and fish bones, held together with silver wires.