“Tove’s depictions of nature went straight to the heart” – a new #OURSEA exhibition combines Jansson’s values with thought provoking art

The #OURSEA campaign, in support of the Baltic Sea, has now occupied the Sanomahouse in central Helsinki, in shape of a photo exhibition that is both amusing and thought provoking. The exhibition is now available for viewing also online – click your way to the two different parts of it below!

Nature photographer Eva Roos has been inspired by Tove Jansson’s depictions of nature and presents her beautiful landscape photographs united with inspiring quotes from the Moomin books. Landscape photographer Johanna Sandin has, on the other hand, collected plastic rubbish from the shores of Hankoo and made them into mosaic looking installations – among them you’ll find a familiar Moomin image!

When she’s not working as team leader at Folkhälsans research centre, Eva Roos spends time with her camera and often gets comments on how her nature photographs relay a fairy-tale feeling.

That’s why I went back to the literature of my youth to see what similarities I could find when looking at my own way of observing nature. Tove’s depictions of nature went straight to the heart. Tove has a unique way of presenting nature in her books. She often describes it based on past experiences and feelings, and also from an aesthetic aspect. That’s what I want to relay through my photographs. Various emotions such as harmony, but also nature’s aesthetic.

And thus the exhibition Sensations by the Sea was created.


The amazing horrendous plastic

Johanna Sandin works as a teacher at Hangö gymnasium. Her photographs confronts the viewer with some uncomfortable truths.

– The sea is my favourite motive, and a couple of years ago my eyes were opened to the amount of rubbish found on the beaches. Especially the colourful plastic pieces were a thorn in my eye. A windy day as I composed my image at Tulliniemi in Hankoo, again having to pick up rubbish, it hit me that I could make something out of the “crap”.

Sandin (with the help of others) picked plastic rubbish from the shores outside her home town of Hankoo during a whole year, washed and sorted the plastic and photographed it. The pieces of art in her exhibition Washed Ashore only exist on photographs – the original installations have all been destroyed.

Johanna Sandin composed the #OURSEA logo out of countless pieces of plastic she found on the shore of the Baltic Sea.


– I’ve become somewhat of a plastic nerd. Plastic is fantastic since it’s durable, but totally horrendous for the exact same reason. It never disappears. It breaks down but doesn’t decompose. The whole plastic waste problem is faceted and can’t be solved with the help of an exhibition like mine, but the exhibition can open the eyes of people. Each and everyone of us can do our part. We can contemplate our purchases, what we carry them home in, how we discard the packaging and so on. This whole “it doesn’t matter what I do, just look at what it’s like out in the big world” -attitude drives me nuts. Of course all of our actions matter and we can start by not littering.

The #OURSEA campaign fit like a glove

Both Johanna Sandin and Eva Roos have wanted to make their exhibitions a part of the #OURSEA campaign, which was started by Moomin Characters in collaboration with the renowned John Nurminen Foundation. The goal of the campaign is to raise one million euros in funds for the foundation’s work in cleaning the Baltic Sea and protecting its heritage. For Johanna Sandin it was obvious that she wanted to participate in the campaign. 

– A stormy, uneasy and mighty sea is the landscape of my soul. That’s when I like to photograph it. That’s when I enjoy slowly strolling along the coastline and looking out towards the sea. I’ve been fascinated by the sea for as long as I can remember. The sea that is ever changing. The sea that makes me feel small. The sea that soothes and calms. Right now the sea isn’t in good health and I want to do something to improve it. That’s why.

Eva Roos has spent all her summers out in the Turku archipelago and that’s why the Baltic Sea and especially the archipelago mean so much to her.

– I still recall the summers when the waters were clear and you could see deep down in the sea, but I’ve also got to experience how the algae bloomings later block the line of sight and prevent swimming sessions in the sea. I want to support everything that in some way can ease the Baltic Sea’s path to recovery.

A part of the revenue from the #OURSEA exhibition will be donated to the campaign.