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Daughters are more precious than gold

  • When
    17.06.2023 – 29.09.2023
  • Artist
    Kirsi Vahtera

The woman of the Kalevala is a powerful character who both acts and inspires to greater deeds. The paths and actions of all the heroes of our national epic are intertwined around her. The most precious daughters ensemble presents women as just that – undeniably precious. As meaningful and powerful beings.

In the song competition between Joukahainen and Väinämöinen, Joukahainen offers Väinämöinen one treasure after another in his distress, but only his wife – Joukahainen’s sister – is a big enough match for his salvation. Nor were Louhen’s daughters bought with dowry gold, although several Kalevala heroes sought them as wives.

Heroic deeds and feats of strength were required to ensure that the groom could offer her daughter security and a good life. Ilmarinen, for his part, forged a golden woman to replace his dead wife, but quickly discovered that the treasure was of no use in the absence of something more valuable. Even Väinämöinen did not take the golden maiden from Ilmarinen, but warned the young men of his nation “not to bow to gold, to falter to silver”.

In the artworks, I try to bring out the different roles of femininity and the Kalevala stories through wrought iron and delicate details. I want to capture pieces of the stories of women in my own family, the everyday life and values of a vanishing generation, and to present the legend in a contemporary way. Alongside the Kalevala, the themes of the exhibition are femininity and equality. The theme is relevant to me, as I have previously worked with the Women’s Line donating art and through the Neidonvaaja jewellery series in various campaigns. The campaign Powerful women in my Neidonvaaja jewellery series was selected as one of the gender equality projects in the Finnish Women’s organisation named The Making an Impact with Equality Acts.

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