Imagine coming across Jonna Phojalainen’s giant colour pencil sculptures in the middle of a field? The Finnish artist carves the oversized pencils from local aspen trunks, resulting in cool street art that's also an environmental statement. The mega pencils tower over visitors to the park where they are displayed, making them feel like they’ve wandered into a scene from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!
The life size pencil set was shown as part of an outdoor exhibition at Open Air Art Museum in Latvia. Pohjalainen created the pieces during the Environmental Art workshop on the museum’s grounds. Each day she’d sit in the grass and watch the sun set, and “sharpen” or carve away at the aspen logs, transforming them into pencil shapes. The aspens were chosen for their beautiful grey bark color, which the artist felt resembled the outer casings of common art supplies. The ends of each were painted with a bold rainbow color that could be found in a colored pencil box. By installing this series outdoors rather than in a gallery, Pohjalainen wanted visitors to observe the interplay between the sculptures and the elements. Placed in a rough hewn circle, the pencils jut out of the ground in varying heights and angles. One could imagine the bunch being thrown to the ground by a giant child passing through the landscape. At different times of the day, the circle of sculptures reacts with the light from the rising and setting sun. The grey aspens change from warm pinks at sunrise to cool blues at sunset, all the while casting a myriad of moving shadows throughout the day. The artist is also interested in the pencils’ reaction to changing weather, from rain to wind. + Environmental Art