Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Espoo’s Nelli has moved to Leppävaara’s Sello Shopping Centre!

Kerttu Horila, Espoo's Nelli, 2022 © Ari Karttunen / EMMA
Kerttu Horila, Espoo's Nelli, 2022 © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

Espoo’s Nelli has had a warm reception in her new temporary home at Viapori Square outside Sello Shopping Centre! Nelli is Kerttu Horila’s bronze sculpture created for the people of Espoo and donated by EMMA to mark the city’s 50th anniversary in 2022. The nomadic sculpture is relocated regularly, bringing joy to the daily lives of as many Espoo residents as possible. The sculpture’s new location was chosen by Espoo’s Disability Council.

Nelli’s location is chosen by ‘passing a baton’. The sculpture was unveiled in Haukilahti in 2022. Nelli’s most recent home in Kalajärvi’s Saudarkrokur Park was chosen by the Espoo Youth Council, who in turn passed the baton to Espoo’s Disability Council. Accessibility and availability of services were prioritized in the choice of Nelli’s new location. Because subsidized mobility support services are limited to a certain number of trips per month, the Disability Council wanted to locate Espoo’s Nelli in a place where disabled people can run several errands simultaneously. 

“Nelli is highly approachable not only because of her warm-hearted presence, but also from a multisensory viewpoint. You can sit next to her, and she doesn’t even mind being touched! We are grateful to the Youth Council for the opportunity to take part in this interesting process. Our collaboration with EMMA has offered us the opportunity to use art to raise issues that are important to us,” enthuses Pirkko Kuusela, chair of Espoo’s Disability Council. “We chose Sello’s Viapori Square as Nelli’s new home, as the mall offers good accessibility to many services that are important to us. The sculpture will be located outside the main entrance of Sello Library, and an audio beacon has been installed next to Nelli to help visually impaired people find her.” 

Pirkko Kuusela, Chair of Espoo’s Disability Council and Olli Männikkö, Chair of Espoo’s Elderly Council © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

“We will be passing the baton to Espoo’s Elderly Council, one of the Disability Council’s important partners and an influential collaborator in the city’s decision-making. It will be interesting to see where Nelli ends up next!” concludes Kuusela. 

Kerttu Horila and Espoo's Nelli, 2022 © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

Espoo’s Nelli is a motherly, warm-hearted canine-human hybrid who holds a puppy under one arm. The sculpture is part of Animal Humans and Human Animals, Kerttu Horila’s imaginative series of storybook fusions of humans and animals. 

EMMA’s public art programming brings a significant part of EMMA’s collection within reach of residents all around Espoo. Espoo’s Nelli was the museum’s gift to the City of Espoo and its residents marking the occasion of the city’s 50th anniversary. Take a selfie with Nelli and share it on social media with the hashtags #espoonnelli @emmamuseum and @espooesbo.

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