Gentle Motors, The Healing Beauty of Flowers

Kati Laakso visits Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0 exhibition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Kati Laakso visits Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0 exhibition in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Franziska Jyrch, Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0, 2016. Concept by Ilona Valkonen, photo: Satu Oksanen

Franziska Jyrch, Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0, 2016. Concept by Ilona Valkonen, photo: Satu Oksanen

It is scientifically proven that nature makes us feel better. Our bodies relax and we see life in a more positive light. In today’s fast-paced world we often forget to calm down and enjoy everything we already have acquired and worked so hard to receive. Although plants have been used since prehistoric times as medicinal remedies, we sometimes forget about the healing forces of nature. Forgetting is easier in big cities where the distance to nature is often both physical and mental.

Flowers were found to have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behavior and even memory for both males and females.

Humans have cultivated flowers for more than 5,000 years. In a study on the emotional impact of flowers, conducted at Rutgers, a team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction by studying the behavioral and emotional responses of participants who were given flowers, (read article here). The results showed that flowers allowed the respondents to moderate their moods and feel happier and more positive. Flowers were found to have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behavior and even memory for both males and females. Women who received flowers reported more positive moods even three days later. This, if nothing else, justifies the investment in a small bouquet every now and then. And for that matter, I’m sure this applies to all sexes.

Not only could one experience the astonishing creativity of the artists on location, but the concept allowed you to walk away with living accessories often fastened on your body.

Exhibition of flowers by Kati Laakso

Art work and photo by Heidi Hankaniemi, Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0, 2016. Concept by Ilona Valkonen.

With the study in mind I headed to Williamsburg several times this April to participate in an exciting botanical show called Vieno Motors (loosely translated gentle motors). The concept was created by Finnish artist Ilona Valkonen. An earlier version of the show appeared at the Helsinki Art Museum in the fall of 2015. It’s now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Satu Oksanen, the Finnish curator who participated in the curatorial residency of the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) brought the project to Williamsburg, to the El Museo de Los Sures. Oksanen commissioned nine artists to participate in addition to Ilona Valkonen herself, and the works that came out of it were stunning. Not only could one experience the astonishing creativity of the artists on location, but the concept allowed you to walk away with living accessories often fastened on your body. These flowers kept you happy for many days afterwards. The visitors I talked to seemed to love the show, and many walked away amazed by how beautiful the creations of the artists were. Flowers surely brought out plenty of feelings that were shared between the participants and the artists involved.

Exhibition of flowers by Kati Laakso

Vieno Motors: How to Prepare 2.0, 2016. Concept by Ilona Valkonen. Exhibition organized by ISCP in co-operation with Satu Oksanen / HAM. Photo: Satu Oksanen

The nine participating artists in addition to Ilona Valkonen were: Heidi Hankaniemi, Franziska Jyrch, Marja Kanervo, Ragnhild May, Gabriel Specter, Tove Storch, Aarti Sunder, Tattfoo Tan, and C. Spencer Yeh.

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  • Kati Laakso - One Quart Magazine

    Kati Laakso (born 1979) currently lives in Tokyo working in arts & culture. Besides her passion for art and beauty she is interested in human behavior and cultu...

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