I thought it would be a normal Thursday today, but while walking along the Aura river in Turku I became sure it wasn't. Street music was filling my senses while dribbling through the pack of people in all directions. In front of the pharmacy museum, there was a cute market that brought all small vendors from places around Finland I've never heard before. I realised that this night is special, every year the same event is here and yet every time it's organised the day is still different! Last year, the night of the arts looked for me more like this!
When I sporadically went through my Instagram feed I noticed that there would be an interesting must-see performance! It would be organised in the old pharmacy museum which I hadn't visited since I moved to Turku for my studies, which is a LONG time!
This I thought was a perfect opportunity to embrace this antique place while watching something out of the ordinary. The dance school Tanssitiimi, the music institute Arkipelag and the board-culture of Turku were the main collaborators of the event. The dancing installation artwork was directed by Maria Nurmela and I love how you can walk around exploring the museum while admiring the dancers doing their own thing.
Not knowing exactly in which room the show would start increased the anticipation. Seemingly everybody gathered in the largest room where the violinist and the cellist were in opposite corners.
What made this performance different than others?
The entire museum was a stage. The dancers gracefully swayed from one room to another assumingly presenting the Finnish female artists of the 1900's. Independent, but invisible women of the era. What kind of lives did they have?
In the end, all the dancers gathered to the main room and danced around. One by one told poems about the independent women of that time. It was like they were those women themselves. They showed that there existed female artists that didn't wait for the "perfect" man or to be dependent entirely on their partner's living. Instead, they were self-employed and did exactly what felt right. Even in conservative times, there are always some free souls that swim against the current. These women were one of those people.
As I was new to the place, I also went around exploring other rooms. It was so cool observing the details. Everything is very well-maintained and it really showed funny tools that pharmacists used back in the day.
This place is a must visit on your list if you're in Turku! In the Qwensel complex, there's also a cute café with light lunch and delicious cakes. What surprised me the most was the children's playroom that looks like an old pharmacy!
I hope you enjoyed the post! I'd love to hear about your experiences with art festivals! What do you have in your hometown? Please comment below!
Have a nice day!