How did paper industry in Mänttä actually originate?

Serlachius Museum Gustaf 4 February — 19 November 2023

The focus of this exhibition by Ahmed Al-Nawas and Minna Henriksson is the relationship of paper barons, particularly the relationship of the leaders of the Serlachius company, strongly defined by financial benefit, to their activities in Finland’s foreign policy, factory working conditions and the field of visual arts. 

The works communicate with the frieze that runs around the lobby in Serlachius Museum Gustaf, i.e. the former headquarters of the Serlachius company, and with the fresco on the ceiling of the Gösta Manor library, both works by Lennart Segerstråle (1892–1975). In the works, a heavenly force or key individual is involved in a creative process. 

The exhibition aims to offer an alternative depiction of the founding of the Serlachius company, in which the creation of the mill and Mänttä is more a collective process rather than the achievement of one man. Along with the management of the mill, the workers also participate, by organising and applying their collective strength and through industrial action to achieve their demands.

Image: Lennart Segerståle, Dead Standing Pine (artwork detail), 1916, line etching and aquatint. Photo: Sampo Linkoneva.