Eyes as Big as Plates

June 5, 2013

I love these photographs of Finns of a certain age wearing garments and headgear provided by Nature Herself.

Finnish woman

Finnish man

Aren’t they wonderful? There’s a big exhibit of many of these photographs titled “Eyes as Big as Plates.” The photographers are two women, a Finn and a Norwegian, Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Horth.

From Riita’s site:

Eyes as Big as Plates started out as a play on characters and protagonists from Norwegian folklore with the Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth. The series has since moved on to exploring the mental landscape of the neighborly and pragmatic Finns. In June 2012 Finnish senior citizens modelled in the wilderness of south and eastern Finland.

A selection of the series was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki in 2012, and it’s now on tour.

Go to the Eyes as Big as Plates web site for more information. You’ll be amazed at how this collaboration has grown and involves so many people now, elders and artists and storytellers all working together. If you get hooked, as I did, be sure to visit the photographers’ sites (linked above) for more pictures and some videos.Finnish woman 2


Also Dear Readers:

Thank you so much for your messages of condolence this past week. I wrote a response that I published today in the comments section of the post about Hadley. I  appreciate every comment, every e-mail, every poem, and every sincere thought about the importance of animal companionship.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Justin sent me a Judy Collins CD, which has provided the background music for this whole experience of loss. The other day as Meg and I were driving to the vet’s office to pick up Hadley’s remains so we could bury her, the car stereo turned on by itself. Needless to say, it’s never done that before. Each song seemed to carry a message about what we were doing and why and how love works. Here’s one of the songs the mysteriously attuned CD player played for us.

11 Responses to “Eyes as Big as Plates”

  1. Great photos and concept


  2. Beth Says:

    I don’t always have time to listen to the songs you attach or explore the other links, but i did play the Judy Collins song. It resonated so strongly with me. Our writing group gathering last week had so many markers of passing time- a year since Eleanor’s death and how many years since Karen’s; Melitza and Vivy in high school; the number of years that one or another of us has abstained from alcohol, wheat, etc etc, the years you and Meg have been carrying on this distance romance.
    Thank you.


  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Fantastic photos, but I am concerned and must go back and catch up. I don’t know how I missed your post about Hadley.


  4. John Says:

    I love that your car stereo tuned to that song, because I love that song… I’ve posted a live version of Judy singing this song a couple of different times … the song is so …. I don’t even know the word for what it is … it’s lovely, it’s perfect, it’s brilliant, poignant, heartbreaking, lovely … and so much more.

    P.S. I totally want some of those hats … the first two, especially… to hell with the Red Hats… give me one of those!


  5. Music seems to be a way of communicating for cats as well as humans then! My CD player repeatedly turned on, as mentioned in (Boy in a Cowboy Hat) following the death of my brother. We never did find out any logical reason for that and believe it was just John, his love of music telling me he is ok. It stopped as suddenly as it had begun when I told him I understood. In our minds? Who knows! As for the hats – don’t they hurt? LOL!


  6. Bob Hazen Says:



  7. So lovely to think of Hadley and Boon by the nurse log with Brio the dancing queen prancing along its top.


  8. Cheryl Says:

    I love it when the inaminate objects join in to offer up support, background music, visual understanding and such.


  9. dehelen Says:

    When my cat Anthony B. Susan died I had an electronic card that started playing suddenly and wouldn’t stop (the card was The Owl and the Pussycat) until I put it in a drawer with a heavy book on top of it. Anthony was a music lover who played the guitar with his teeth and the grand piano with his feet.


  10. Buddhacrone Says:

    Have loved that Judy Collins song (and all the rest of them) for many years. That is what comes to mind when I look in the mirror and wonder how the hell I’ve lived so long…..
    I’m sorry about your kitty; it doesn’t seem to matter the species when you lose someone you love.


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