Palsan peitteessä – In the Layers of Palsa
Arktikum, Finland

The northern nature and endangered plants and animals have traveled along in Hanna Kanto’s (b. 1981, Tornio) artistic production. The starting point for the In the Layers of Palsa, are the palsa, the formations of the ground that hide the permafrost. Palsa mires occur in Finland only in the northernmost part of Lapland. As the climate warms, palsa is becoming rarer, and scientists do not know where the melting of permafrost will eventually lead.

In the artwork, you can see a researcher’s table and microscopic images of different moss species. In addition to the visible real world and the microscopic world of organisms, a strange and uncontrollable future is present in the work. As the climate warms and the permafrost thaws, bacteria are revealed from under the palsa covers, which are no longer held by the microscope’s lenses. The three-dimensional dimension is brought into the work with ceramic organisms or organs that symbolize the earth as a living, breathing organism and the rich bacterial population it contains. Above all, the work reflects concern for our endangered arctic nature.