"People only spend a short amount of time at the filling station, so I hope that a work of art can bring a short visual break and a kind of respite in the middle of a busy drive."
Katja Tsykarev, Visual Artist
A feast for the eye while refueling – the new gas filling station in Kivistö is also a place to admire art
A public work of art can be admired at the new gas filling station opened in Kivistö, Vantaa. Artist Katja Tsykarev’s artwork has been implemented as part of the cooperation between Gasum and LAB University of Applied Sciences.
At the new gas filling station in Vantaa, one might not believe their eyes: the heavy-duty and passenger vehicle filling station also features a public installation art piece.
The inspiration behind the artwork, which was designed and implemented by visual artist Katja Tsykarev from Lappeenranta, was the height differences of terrain maps.
“In the artwork, I wanted to combine environmental friendliness, gas and transportation on both land and sea. The green in the artwork represents nature values, the blue represents Gasum’s logo and marine traffic, and the dark purple colour represents gas. The pink on the station’s LNG tanks, on the other hand, comes directly from the brand colours of the Kivistö region of the City of Vantaa,” says Tsykarev.
Combining nature and urban landscape
Tsykarev hopes that the work of art will bring not only comfort but also nature and an organic feeling in the middle of the urban environment.
“In an industrial area, the surfaces and shapes are quite harsh. I wanted to bring nature closer to the middle of the urban environment through shapes and lines. People only spend a short amount of time at the filling station, so I hope that a work of art can bring a short visual break and a kind of respite in the middle of a busy drive,” she says.
Tsykarev graduated from LAB University of Applied Sciences last spring. The 26-year-old artist specialises in sculpture and installation art.
“In my work, I like to use recycled and renewable materials, something that someone might think of as trash. The aim is that my work does not burden the environment. My own values also seemed to fit the values of Gasum,” says Tsykarev.
The shapes of the installation art of the filling station in Kivistö are formed by tapings on the surfaces.
“The tapings help the elements of the station to become art,” she says.
The first of its kind
Olli Paasio, Head of Business Finland, Industry and Traffic at Gasum, says that it was not easy to choose the right work of art because there were so many good ideas. Tsykarev’s idea fascinated Gasum with the powerful pattern of the work, which also leaves room for the imagination, the versatility of colours and their combination.
“The story behind the work was thought-provoking. A filling station and a public artwork have not been previously combined in a similar way in Finland, so the implementation is unique. It is great to get to brighten up the city environment in the form of art,” says Paasio.
According to Paasio, Gasum does not want to exclude the possibility of a similar cooperation in the future.
“The experience has been positive, and it will be interesting to see how customers receive the new filling station and its look,” he says.
Art is a part of Kivistö
Gasum has been aware of the planned artwork at the station in Kivistö since the plot of the filling station was acquired. The station is located in an area where the city plans also require the consideration and implementation of public art.
“We want to develop Kivistö as an art city, and art has been part of its major area vision ever since the Kivistö downtown area began to be developed,” says Anna-Riitta Kujala, Head of Detail Planning Unit of Kivistö, City of Vantaa.
According to Kujala, the core idea is that art brings multidimensionality, diversity and attractiveness to the city.
“We think that art responds to the goals of social and cultural sustainability. When art is accessible to city dwellers, it enables artistic experiences for everyone,” she says.
Art is present in Kivistö in both private and public spaces.
“The starting point is that art be integrated into construction projects. We require that the artist be involved in the design and implementation of projects from the outset, including private construction projects. This way, art is truly part of the buildings, urban spaces and the surrounding city,” says Kujala.
In the centre of Kivistö, one can currently admire approximately 60 works of art.
“Art is present in pavements, buildings and courtyards. Some of the works have been implemented by individual artists, and some as participatory projects. These include sculptures, special art murals and light art, for example,” Kujala says.
Kujala also followed the completion of the Gasum filling station with great interest.
“We were able to comment on the works and participate in the selection of a suitable work. Katja Tsykarev’s work is a great addition to the area as we currently have little of this style of art,” Kujala says.
The implementation of public art interests students
The visual appearance of the gas filling station in Kivistö is part of the cooperation between Gasum and LAB University of Applied Sciences. Last year, a visual identity was sought for the station through a course organised by LAB University of Applied Sciences.
“The course was popular. We received 12 excellent proposals, and three works were rewarded. The course was taught by William Dennisuk,” says Eija Mustonen, Competence Manager at LAB University of Applied Sciences.
LAB University of Applied Sciences operates in Lahti and Lappeenranta. LAB began its operations at the beginning of 2020 when Lahti and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences merged.
According to Mustonen, the organisation of a course on public art and the implementation of the work were facilitated by the clear conditions of Gasum.
“The customer’s wishes are an essential part of work planning and implementation in public art. We were really happy and proud of the proposals from the course,” says Mustonen.
Working life cooperation and better working life are an integral part of the strategy of LAB University of Applied Sciences.
“Students’ motivation is also high when they can cooperate with different companies on a course,” says Mustonen.
The realisation of the visual appearance of artist Katja Tykarev for the filling station has been a challenging but rewarding project.
“I have had to learn how to organise my work in a whole new way because, as an artist, I have usually been able to decide on my working pace independently. The cooperation has been really educational, interesting and rewarding at the same time,” says Tsykarev.
Text: Pi Mäkilä
Images: Markus Pentikäinen