September 20, 2020
It must have been one of the murky autumn mornings some years back, when we decided to cheer up our customers by offering them spontaneously a cosy breakfast starting at 7am in the morning at the TAUKO studio store. With still some hours to sunrise and little bit of rain in the air, I started to wonder if anyone would actually appear. And then I saw someone locking the bike next to the shop window: Eeva stepped in with a big smile of excitement and red cheeks from the fresh morning air.
“Cyclist, enthusiastic, scout, graphic designer” is how Eeva describes herself. Having numerous inspiring talks with Eeva, I would also add “community lover and environmentalist” to the list. For some time she was also known to her friends for her paintings of crows, many came to her to share their experiences of these everyday birds, which we hardly ever notice otherwise.
Eva started painting crows when she was looking for motives to restart her school time hobby. She found back to her study-time inspiration, the famous “Boy and a crow” by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Studying the painting, she focused on the crow and started to notice its siblings in her everyday life. Every single day, while biking from home to work and back over the long bridge that crosses the sea from mainland to her home island, she recognised being accompanied by crows sitting high up on the lamp poles next to the street. She transformed her observations into paintings and inspired people around her to share stories of crows they had encountered.
During my video call with Eeva connecting Schöneberg and Lauttasaari, the conversation drifts across subjects she has been pondering during the spring: We touched on questions of shame, often related to female sexuality, body images and menstruation blood. The latter has become one of the themes she recently also decided to share in her social media channels. Because of fearing to be ashamed, many things that are important to us are left unsaid or done. Also the feeling of shame in itself does often not find room in conversations. In our talk Eeva points out how shameful themes are often avoided, yet once the theme is introduced, people are cueing to have their story to tell: Regularly talking and acting upon shameful subjects makes them more normal and makes the shame disappear.
Be it crows or the subject of shame, the unnoticed quite often slips into conversations around her, without her intending so. Maybe it is the excitement Eeva has for everyday things, which makes her able to attract other peoples attention to them.
This attitude of exploration and openness has after all also inspired us at TAUKO in our dialogs and our design process. Somewhere in between intertwined conversations, I tell how the shorts she chose to wear for the photos were inspired by her. There is a lot of surprised laughter going through the headphones on both sides, and I tell her the story of how the shorts were designed for a dance piece: we wanted to create a skirt look-alike garment that allows for free movement. And as we knew Eeva as a “skirt-person” and a cyclist, we thought of her during the design process.
At the very end of the call, whilst I thank Eeva for her time and taking part in the photoshoot, she starts praising the photo of her wearing her Horizon cardigan. Her look at the camera and the whole presence shows “lived life” in a very positive sense of the word. The signs of aging, maturity that give depth to the image; We are again talking over each other.
Images of aging, even only in our 40’s, would be yet another interesting topic to talk about with Eeva, which I hope to have, maybe at another murky autumn morning with cosy breakfast at the TAUKO studio in Helsinki.
Text: Mila Moisio
Photos: Laura Oja