Our three-piece environmental work is based on a well-known clarinet player and
musician named Herman Saxberg (1830-1909), who roamed around the Keuruu area,
known locally as Pilli-Hermanni.
The sculptural arrangement of three objects at the edge of the forest is also the first
monument dedicated to the heritage of the original artist, a controversial figure and
storyteller from the Kivijärvi farm, i.e. the current ecovillage. In the work, we focused on
Pilli-Hermannis vagrancy and the objects he left behind, both concrete and imagined, as
well as on the themes of his songs. We also picked up verses from his arkkiveisut
(broadsheet ballads) for our three sculptures and engraved them on their wooden
Following the path, you first come across a lonely shoe, fallen on a hummock. The shoe
as a mundane object reflects Hermanni's character as a wanderer, working his way as a
troubadour from house to house. The shoe is engraved with the words:
" Dreaming on his seat,
slipping from all his evening deeds "
In Hermanni's songs shoes are also mentioned in relation to vanity (Ylellisyysruno) or a
lost shoe as a symbol of laziness (Perhelaulu eli Maamiehen laulu). Many of his
arkkiveisu, in their humorous style, warned the rural population to live in a reputable
manner. So, the lonely shoe depicts not only Hermanni’s own fate, but also the moralistic
side of his songs, which at least don’t urge others to follow in his footsteps.
The second sculpture, found deeper in the forest, is a whistle-like object. Of course, it is a
reference to his instrument, a homemade clarinet, which is now stored in the archives of
The National Museum of Finland. The sculpture is an imaginary version of the clarinet’s
mouthpiece that has disappeared over time. The titular instrument earned Hermanni his
supper, an alias, and stories that went down in history. The whistle is, as it were, a
symbol of forging one's own happiness and a symbol of creative work without
limitations, sometimes disregarding societal requisites. The following verse describing
Pilli-Hermanni himself is engraved on the surface of the sculpture:
" Piper from who knows where,
puts up a joyful evening "
The last object of the sculpture arrangement refers to Pilli-Hermanni's most famous
arkkiveisu. It is called Mokoma hupanen Runo-laulu Wiinasta, Oluesta ja Kahweesta that
dealt with the 1866 statute banning the homebrewing of alcohol. For this reason, the
shape of the sculpture is borrowed from an old-fashioned moonshine still. The burned
still with a soot-black surface is a symbol of layers that depict the social issues of its time,
people's self-sufficiency and perhaps also the rebellious spirit and the need for
enjoyment. The verse we picked for the piece is humorous, unambiguous and echoes the
trinity of the sculptural arrangement.
" Song was gathered of these three,
coffee, spirits and ale "