Goethe-Institute Finnland

Sininen Mural
Helsinki, Finnland 2019

In June, the Goethe-Institut Finnland invited me together with the project Helsinki Urban Art (HUA) to paint a wall in their office hallway, in the middle of central Helsinki.


“Sininen,” which means “blue” in Finnish, serves as the title of my latest mural.

Having recently completed a highly geometric wall in Helsinki’s Pasila District, I approached this mural’s format with a different perspective. It felt more like working on a canvas than a typical wall, prompting me to frame the painting with a 4cm border using tape. This decision allowed the wall to become an integral part of the artwork, blending the concepts of wall- and canvas-painting in a unique way.

Drawing inspiration from a canvas piece I created weeks prior, I used it as a loose concept to guide my exploration of shapes and elements. This approach grants me the flexibility to adapt to my surroundings and respond organically. Opting for blue as the primary color stemmed from my affection for the hue and its ability to evoke happiness. Having spent several days in Helsinki, blue seemed fitting to capture the essence of the city and its inhabitants.

One minor challenge presented itself in the form of indirect light breaking the wall at one point. Rather than seeing it as an obstacle, I incorporated it into the painting, integrating the geometric shape of the lamp into the composition.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Alexandra and Tina from the Goethe-Institut Finland for providing me with the opportunity to paint in their office. Special thanks also go to Jaakko Blomberg for his impeccable organization and to Severi for his invaluable assistance.

Finland has left a lasting impression on me, and I eagerly await the chance to return, as I’ve developed a fondness for the country and its people.

©2023 Julia Benz