Life from meat: Cow sculptures by Mina Äkkijyrkkä
Text: Detail Daily
A few years ago, there was general laughter when the local counsel of a new town in England commissioned some concrete cows to populate local fields. Apparently they hoped this might “humanize” the place a little! I only wish they had heard of the artist Mina Äkkijyrkkä.
Mina Äkkijyrkkä is Finnish. She studied horses and dairy farming before art and has worked with cows for many years. Her experiences and sensitivities towards animals, particularly cows, can be seen in these beautiful sculptures.
Using old cars, the artist cuts into them apparently revealing animal parts that lay hidden within the bodywork. Think of a butcher dismembering an animal to create the generic product “meat” here Äkkijyrkkä seems to be doing the opposite by creating the specific animal from the homogenized mass of car. I am struck by the suggestion of twisting, or stretching she achieves using only the components she cuts off the old vehicles.
Sculptures working with stone are said to cut into the “living rock”. Here from the dead hulks of old cars are carved living animals. In both there is a process of releasing the trapped animal or object from the base material.