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!
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 aspen was chosen for their beautiful grey bark color, which the artist felt resembled the outer casings of the common art supplies. The ends of each were painted with a bold rainbow color that could be found in any pencil box.
By installing this series outdoors rather than a gallery, Pohjalainen wants 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 group being thrown to the ground by a giant child passing through the landscape.
At different times of the day, the circle of sculptures react with the light from the rising and setting sun.
The grey aspen changes 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.
Pohjalainen’s rising eco-friendly pencil sculptures become one with the landscape, emulating indigenous trees, and only to be given away by their brilliantly colored tips.