Gardening was close to my father’s heart. It was part of his life style and had its place in the cycle of the year. At some point at the springtime art making ceased and he started to take care of his garden. I hardly ever saw him uprooting weeds but more often wheelbarrowing here and there refilling manure, compost, peat and soil to his bushes.
It was not just subsistence gardening focused on berries and horse beans but had also artistic goals. On the southern side of the house there was a perfect warm place to grow sunflowers. He planted them as early as it was possible, because sunflowers needed all short Finnish summer to achieve their full bloom. He gave them daily attention by watering them with urine enriched water, fertilizing and constructing racks to support their vertical growth. And sunflowers responded to his care and did their best and became enormous by the end of the summer.
Then Simo beheaded the most biggest and beautiful ones and replaced them gently on the shelf by his atelier window. It was full of all kind of samples and curiosities of nature. The leftovers of this project ended up to his compost.
The Flower Suns (Kukka-auringot), etching 1968
The Solar Flowers (Aurinkokukat), a small format etching 1968
The Sunflower Summer (Auringonkukkakesä), etching 1979
The Admirers of Sunflowers (Auringonkukkien ihalijat), etching 1979
A Song for Sunflowers (Laulu auringonkukille), etching 1984
The Evening Paper (Iltalehti), etching 1981