15th of July, 2019 at 16.33 is the exact time of marking the spots where the sunlight, travelling through the windows, meets the floor. The time was determined based on when it was sunny, when the light reached the floor and when I was available to make the work. The trace marks cyclical time: the repeated journey of sunlight. For me, it is also a way of contemplating changes in relation to an anchoring point.
On the marked areas, layers of paint were removed by heating - I thought of the heat of the sun - and a grey layer was revealed first, then brown. The floor was sanded so that the original timber surface was revealed. Finally beeswax was cut and melted – I thought of the pollinators and their reducing numbers. In the building next-door, the eco village bee keeping equipment remains in storage.
From my work diary on the 16th of July:
the light approaches, visibly moving, gliding across the floor,
almost there … now it is there, on the spot … continues to move
a film, an animation, a memorial, a performance
Conversations with people and following the movement of light were an important part of the working process. Sami Ala suggested that the piece “positions Rajatalo in relation to our central star the Sun” and at breakfast Tiina Kuisma spoke with excitement about the mother of Lemminkäinen (in the Kalevala epic) looking up, about to receive healing honey as a remedy to bring her son back to life. I had thought about it too, the golden trace against a black surface on the shore of Tuonela, the river of death, in the painting by Gallen-Kallela ~~~. As I listened to a radio program about bees waking up from their winter nest formation, a passer-by commented how the mint bush was not buzzing the same way as in previous years.
On the 21st of July, when the piece had been completed, the angle of the sun had already shifted lower at 16.33 so that it no longer hit the spot that had been marked on the 15th of July. The sunlight will meet the trace again next year.