Anne Meskanen-Barman Sing a Song of Sixpence


“The title of the exhibition, Sing a Song of Sixpence, comes from an old English nursery rhyme from the 18th century. The song contains absurd humour and a grotesque ending: twenty-four blackbirds are baked in a pie, and the birds start to sing when the pie is opened. In a 16th century Italian cookbook, there´s a recipe for how to bake live songbirds in a pie so that they will fly out when the pie is sliced. The intention was to arouse bewilderment among the dinner guests.

Sculptures – their essence, meaning, and potential – are more than just three-dimensional objects. I wish that viewers can get fully absorbed in an atmosphere created by my sculptures, and by experiencing, encountering, or being bewildered, finalise the artworks. My aim is to generate astonishment by creating unexpected connections and juxtapositions, and by using humour.

As an artist, I’m interested in the feel of different materials as well as their associations and meanings – ready-made objects combined to different plastic composites and metal. I’m also fascinated by the possibility of a simultaneous sensation of illusion and real physical presence; life proved to be an illusion; the myth of Pygmalion where a statue comes to life.

The exhibition features several independent artworks with repeated motifs, including those of the blackbird, birdwatcher, clown, forest, light, and human. These ingredients turn into a juicy pie, which hopefully stimulates the viewer’s appetite.”

-Anne Meskanen-Barman

The exhibition has been supported by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, VISEK, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Greta and Alfred Runebergs Foundation and the City of Espoo.

Thank you to Pekka Barman for your fundamental help. Special thanks to Tomi Sinisalo and Ilppo Alho.

Anne Meskanen-Barman (b.1966) graduated from the Kankaanpää Art School in 1991. She currently works and lives in Espoo. In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions, Meskanen-Barman has produced several public artworks, the most recent to be completed in Multisilta, Tampere. She has also worked with curating and teaching, and she has held several positions of trust and expertise. This is Meskanen-Barman’s third solo exhibition at the Gallery Sculptor.

Sing a Song of Sixpence; 2019; acrylic resin, epoxy resin laminating, paint, fabric, table, 110 x 80 x 80 cm

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