Art activities are part of Finavia's ArtPort concept, which is designed to offer passengers surprising new services in the hectic airport milieu.
"Helsinki Airport has become an 'art airport' that has received international attention. In October, for example, passengers voted Helsinki Airport the fifth-best airport on the Sleeping in Airports website. One of the reasons was the airport's focus on art," says Airport Director Ville Haapasaari.
For Finavia, the ArtPort concept is also part of corporate responsibility. Promoting Finnish art at airports is an excellent way of presenting Finnish expertise and offering artists the opportunity to gain international visibility for their works.
The group of three giant flowers (1980) by sculptress Eila Hiltunen (1922–2003) is a study for the fountain Sunflower Field (1984), commissioned for a lagoon in the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi-Arabia.
Made of special steel, the final sculpture erected in Jeddah is a group of seven giant flowers. Measuring 21 metres wide by 10 metres high, it is the biggest Finnish work of art ever commissioned abroad. Its water jets are directed from the centre of one flower to another as well as vertically up into the air.
The sharply cut petals and gleaming surfaces of the flowers in combination with the movements of the water create a delicate and unique aesthetic which, by creating a contrast with the open landscape, activates the viewers.
Owned by the artist's estate, the sculpture is being kept at the Didrichsen Art Museum. Until autumn 2014, the sculpture will be displayed at Helsinki Airport while the museum is undergoing renovation.
The study for Sunflower Field stands in the vicinity of gates 34 and 35, in the area for passengers whose destination is a non-Schengen country.