Lähirohtola in Kanneltalo

On December 6, 2018

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail, 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail, 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (plant meditation), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (plant meditation), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (yarrow tincture), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (yarrow tincture), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (nettles tincture), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (nettles tincture), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (plant collecting), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, detail (plant collecting), 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, 2018.

Lähirohtola, plant pharmacy, installation, 2018.

Lähirohtola community plant pharmacy was exhibited in Kannelgalleria, Helsinki in 6. – 27.12.2018.

Lähirohtola is a community art project that collects and shares information about medicine plants growing in the neighbourhood. These plants are usually considered weeds. Lähirohtola aims at empowering the relationship and interdependence in the ecosystems we live within and spread knowledge how the plants can support the well-being of humans. The plants are presented as collaborators, members of the community and companions – it’s possible to create and empathic connection with them. In the background of Lähirohtola is post-humanist and animistic notions and an exploration how the voice of the plants could be heard in the human domain.

Essential part of the Lähirohtola are the Kasvilähettiläät (Plant Ambassadors) who represent different plants. In year 2018, five people acted as Plant Ambassadors in Kaarela area representing nettles, dandelion, yarrow, greater plantain and chicken weed. Plant Ambassadors collected and dried their own plants for their own and for the common Lähirohtola use. They also spread information about their own plant. The concept is based on particular Indian tradition where different families over generations represent different species of flora and fauna, making sure these species are in save and thought of by others.

There was a workshop day for the Plant Ambassadors, Sap -public event and open-to-all plant walks organised during summer 2018. Plant walks included learning and collecting the plants as well as meditative sessions of creating a deeper connection to the local ecosystem. The plants collected during these walks were then placed in the Lähirohtola installation for everyone to try them and learn about them.

Plant Ambassadors of the Kaarela area 2018:
Marjatta Lydman (dandelion ambassador)
Terhi Näveri (greater plantain ambassador)
Sinikka Alapiha (yarrow ambassador)
Hilla Lähdesmäki (chicken weed ambassador)
Markus Niukkanen (nettle ambassador)

Lähirohtola is a project by artist Mari Keski-Korsu. Phytologist Maaria Alén has been Mari’s work pair regarding plant medicine.

Thank you to Helsinki Artist Society , especially producer Anna Puhakka, all the people who took part in the walks and plant ambassadors as well as Kanneltalo and Helsinki Community College (Kanneltalo).

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