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AFTER ALL, THIS IS MY CITY

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People on their way to work by train or metro during the early morning hours in Helsinki, may have noticed these poetic statements at the sides of roads and rail tracks. The works are made of yellow autumn leaves woven into wire mesh fences, saying: “Tämä on kuitenkin minun kaupunkini” – “After all, this is my city”.

The person behind this urban artwork, Elissa, does not want to reveal her full name, pointing out that “anonymity is an exquisite feature of urban art”.

The work crystallises in a beautiful way her idea that “the ability to participate in the visual conversation in public urban space, is a central part of one’s well being”. This idea is also the focus of Elissa’s master’s thesis work, of which the yellow leaf statements form the first part.

Elissa sees urban space as a visual forum for conversation, although today overwhelmingly occupied by advertisements. Her work is an effort to claim a slot of this space for a different message. Undoubtedly, this soft and unoffensive statement can stand out from the crowd of noisy commercial graphics. In its silence, the work may well be able to stop people thinking in the middle of their daily business.

Photography by Elissa. Have a look at Flickr for more photos!