Mother Earth in the Music Centre Ceiling
This sculpture by Kirsi Kaulanen (b. 1969) was named Gaia (2011) after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth. At 14 metres in length, 10 metres in height, and 2,200 kg in weight, the sculpture in polished stainless steel is visible both inside the Helsinki Music Centre and from outside, in the direction of Mannerheimintie. Constructed from organic forms, Gaia resembles a saxophone, a horn, a landscape, or a winding shape. It is linked to nature by its flowing form and by the fact that it includes 28 of the 150 currently-endangered Finnish plant species.
The artist has described the dual nature of the work by linking it to a real-life nature experience and to an abstract idea: seeing the work from all directions is like a 360-degree panorama from the top of a mountain. At a more abstract level, the work is a study of concentric forms, familiar to us from mandalas or dripping water.