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Pyhäranta, Finland

Elk Garden

A Finnish artist's unique fauna statuary. 

When Arja Alhoranta began creating her sculptures in southwest Finland, she had a political agenda and was dedicated to making a statement. But as her work progressed, her message became obscured by a sizable statuary herd of elk, penguins, horses and swans.

Alhoranta decided to begin creating her sculpture garden out of passion, and to prove that women could create large installations. Working to advance feminism by attacking the idea that men are the builders of our species, she set about making life-sized animal statues created out of wood, concrete, and a little help from her trusty chainsaw.

After working tirelessly, she had finally created a few horses, dogs and other smaller animals, along with her pride and joy, the elk. All totaled, Alhoranta created eight elk, and was almost always photographed stroking their noses as one would pet a small lap dog. Besides her work on the statues, Alhoranta also paints during the cold, winter months and creates totems on her property in Finland.

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