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September 27, 2018

Art has a proven effect on our health. The famous Finnish art professor Riitta Nelimarkka is a true example the power of creative life and colors!


At seaside Helsinki, 15 minutes from  the city center by car and half an hour by boat is the atelier of the famous Finnish artist, author and art professor Ms Riitta Nelimarkka.


The sun is always shining when I come to your home and atelier, I laughed when entering. The truth is, this place does not need sunshine to make an impact every time you enter. It is full of colours, art, family history and stories of this versatile artist, author and movie director.



Old Patron House transformed to an Art Gallery


Today we meet to talk about the family castle and art gallery Bonga in the city of Loviisa jus 1 hours drive east of Helsinkii, Finland. Bonga Castle is 111 years old and it has been renovated the last 30 years which it has belonged to Riitta´s family. I think Bonga would be a perfect day trip destination for Chinese groups and individual travellers alike.



This inspiring gallery is a small castle and open in summertime for visitors. But all year round it welcomes groups by request. This summer Bonga presents unique statues of glass under the heading ”Miniatures for skyscrapers in different deserts e.g. Kalahari”, and also multi-layered photomontages with mystic flavours from the series ”Softness - Les mélodieux”.


Bonga also exhibits about 200 colourful works from earlier years, ranging from small drawings to lush reliefs in wool and paintings.



Art tourism is a growing trend


My Chinese art connoisseur friend Mr Wang said that he likes to get to know the artist himself. It deepens the relationship also with the art work. It is simply more to have talked and spent time with the artist. Then when you have the painting or another art piece in your home or office, you keep the experience alive.


With Riitta Nelimarkka this is made possible in the Bonga castle and its gallery. But also, exceptionally at her home atelier in Marjaniemi area in Helsinki. The beautiful private home and atelier is accessible by boat or car. The area is full of beachfront homes with private piers.



Art and Health - a clear connection


“Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color, and light, we do know this: that they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients, are actual means of recovery. Florence Nighthingale 1860.


According to The London Arts in Health Forum´s website the arts can promote prevention of disease and build wellbeing. It can improve healthcare environments and benefit staff retention and professional development. The work in this area has grown, so understanding and measuring of its impact has grown also. There are also academics in the  world who investigate the impact that the arts have on health.




Energy from art


Personally, Riitta Nelimarkka´s art has been extremely enjoyable encounter. I remember walking in a South West Finland by a Mustio Manors lake and on a small hill there was it - a small wooden pavilion full of this colourful and playful art. I totally felt it - deep in my body and am sure that my Chi started to flow like a river!


Several times I have discussed with my  Chinese friends how her art pleases and matches with the Chinese playful and joyful taste. And how it would lift the spirit at any home or office building.


- But where do you get your own energy, I asked. The answer comes quickly: music and grandchildren! So universal!



- For me, art and design are the same, says Riitta Nelimarkka in her atelier. My goal is to create something unique.


With her diverse education background Riitta Nelimarkka is one of the most versatile and interesting artists of Finland today. Riitta Nelimarkka holds PhD Degree in Arts and she has been honoured with title of process by the President of Finland. Also Riitta Nelimarkka has been a Chair of the Board of the Nelimarkka-Foundation since 1987. In 2016 she was awarded by the Order of  France with the distinction of Officier des Arts and Lettres.


Her art work is to be found in corporations, private homes, and public spaces and interestingly at the Residence of the Finland´s President in Mäntyniemi.


Riitta also welcomes art visitors to her home atelier in Helsinki


Bonga services


Art lovers and buyers are well served at Bonga staff with paying and shipping solutions.




At Bonga you will also see newly completed wild, small statues made of wool & wood, “Characters” alias “The Barbers of Seville”,also magic glass boxes, “Miniature glasales”, whose colour scales take their synaesthesia from real life, and the Post-Impressionist Les Faunes, Faunit with glass and photomontage.


Bonga Castle is a 2000 m2 patrician castle from 1906 and has been renovated to the original 1920 classical style. The gallery takes up 1/3 of the castle and shows the most essential part of the artist production. The spacious gallery is filled with light and vibrating colours.


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