And the hours devour us
I am a stranger
ras.makela(at)gmail.com / +358400657121
And the hours devour us (2019–)
Growing up in a small town, I used to return home around sunset. As our street curved left the sky in the west opened up before me. Often, in the same spot, there was a birdlike stretch of clouds that the setting sun painted in tones of orange and red. I called it the phoenix. Seeing it made me feel warm but sad.
For me the phoenix symbolizes homecoming and eternity; it’s always waiting above the place where I grew up. Still when I walk to my parents’ house I keep an eye on the sky, but these days the massive bird rarely shows up.
The older I get, the more my returning home is related to loss. A funeral, the passing of a pet, visiting the remains of ravaged nature –
Once every summer I climb up on our roof to have a cup of coffee. As dusk sets in, the bitumen roof that I sit on cools down slowly. There’s a strip of forest in the northwest, and behind it a muddy river that’s out of sight. Another forest – where we used to play as children – stood close to our house, but now its tall pines are gone. Although the same sun still paints that moment on the roof with warm colors, the atmosphere is awash with gloom. The sun and the sky remain but everything else changes.
My shadow follows me during the day, reminding me of the ephemerality that clings to life. When the sun sets, my shadow grows tall before it disappears completely, just like the pine trees of the past.
Wherever I am, I try to capture the ambivalence of a sunset, the anxiety and bliss it simultaneously generates. This work is about keeping an eye on the sun and its movements, waiting for an inevitable end. This is my stubborn attempt at staying in the light, where everything is clear and safe – where, for a moment, nothing changes.
The installation was part of the Buy grapes, plums, get to know yourself exhibition in Gallery Vanha Kappalaisentalo, Porvoo in 2021.