JAN-ERIK ANDERSSON Life on a Leaf Video Kiosk

Real-time webcam image from the Life on a Leaf house

Video from the construction of the Life on a Leaf house, 2006-09 HDvideo on Blueray.Duration:1,5h

LIFE ON A LEAF Publication

The Finnish artist Jan-Erik Andersson Gesamtkunstverk, the leaf-shaped house Life on a Leaf, was inaugurated in August 2009, after a ten-year long process. The unique house, which functions as a home for Andersson family in Turku, was planned with architect Erkki Pitkaranta.

Jan-Erik Andersson believes strongly that research into the visual and design aspects of a sustainable future have to be done on many levels. In the Life on a Leaf project Andersson and Pitkaranta explores the ecologic dimension of dream, the imagination, the iconic space, and 'slow living' - ideas that have roots in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Along with sources like Kurt Schwitters, Le Corbusier, Antoni Gaudi, Bruce Goff, Konstantin Melnikov, Hundertwasser, Archigram and Rem Koolhaas Andersson has also been inspired by the Swedish children's author, Elsa Beskow, whose tales include houses shaped like hats and umbrellas. One of Jan-Erik Anderssonís constant themes during his 30 years as an artist is the investigation and questioning of the border between the colorful and iconic aesthetics constructed by adults for children and the somber seriousness, which usually is related to adult visual culture.

The Life on a Leaf house has inspired a dozen of Jan-Erik Andersson's artist colleagues to make art works and poems, which are incorporated into the building - wall and floor details, a laminated kitchen table top, wall paper, light fixtures, in-floor video work, outdoor tables and benches, environmental planning and a sound installation in a handrail which responds to changes in the wind and light outside. Andersson describes it as a way to have the friends of the family present. It also points to the social and communicative side of the house project. The house is not a sealed private house-it is a place where people with diverse thoughts and aesthetic views can meet and collaborate.

The house is the production part of Jan Erik Andersson's Doctoral study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. The publication is fully illustrated, and has an introductory text in English, Swedish and Finnish. It has been produced in cooperation with Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Finnish Fund For Art Exchange FRAME, Turku Capital of Culture 2011 project and PORI Art Museum.


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