Rowans are not so easy to find in Helsinki, it seemed, but when I googled images of rowans and then looked where they had been taken, I found some places. One of them was Haahkatie in Lauttasaari, that is, Ådvägen på Drumsö, near my old school as a child. I also remembered the small rowan I fastened my swing on more than a year ago in Särkiniemi Park in the vicinity, when I performed at the opening of the LARU Human Era environmental art exhibition. Thus I decided to make an excursion and see if I could find a suitable rowan for my calendar performance in Lauttasaari. The rowans near Haahkakuja looked pretty but the surroundings were not so interesting with all the big buildings so I walked along the shore all the way to Särkiniemi peninsula. Most of the trees along the shore were alders, willows and birches. There were some rowans, too, but most of them small and slender and entwined with other trees. Only after taking a tea break in the nearest pub, and deciding to try to do something with some of the not so suitable rowans I had passed, did I actually notice an older rowan near the shore with a low branch to climb on to. For some reason I wanted to stand next to the tree rather than sit on it.
After a quick look at the first image I thought my position looked weird and decided to try another pose, with my feet together.
The result looked even more strange because I am clutching the tree trunk, so I decided to make one more attempt by simply sitting on the branch.
And now the memory card was full, of course, so only the very beginning of the session was recorded. There was nothing else to do but to clean the card from old stuff and sit on the branch one more time. During my first sitting a whole group of ice skaters passed by, and I wondered whether they would be visible in the image. During the second sitting I heard some strange banging noice and realised only later that it was the sound of a car door. A newly wedded couple had arrived on the shore to take their wedding photo. I left them smiling in front of the ice and snow and hurried back to the city centre. – When I looked at the material in the evening I realized the images were all rather bland and grey and wondered whether I should visit the tree once more …
When Sunday seemed at least partly sunny I took the bus directly to the park with the plan to remake the same image in brighter light. While in the park I decided to take a walk and see if there would be other interesting rowans because there was an area I did not visit yesterday. I found a beautiful little rowan by the shore; the only problem being it was near the path with lots of people passing by all the time. I wanted to give it a try, so I started the new day with a new rowan.
I liked the image but there was too much traffic so I tried to place the tripod next to the tree, but there were other trees nearby that I did not want in the image, and I tried to have the sea in the background as well. A compromise of sorts was the only solution I could find, a close up with a little bit of the sea. I tried two versions of sitting on the branches that were cut off and formed a stool of sorts.
I was not happy with these close up images, but could not find any other solution, so I went to visit the old rowan from yesterday and sat for a while there. This image, too, was partly in back light.
Based on the still images one cannot decide much; only editing the video will reveal which image I can try to use, depending on the amounts of passers-by and how they behave. At least I have some material now for the February image, the Month of the Rowan.