Fish of fire Sculpture - Tatu Rouvinen
Unique ceramic sculpture created by Tatu Rouvinen.
According to Karelian mythology
the origin of fire goes as follows:
A spark of fire fell from the above,
through the skies and landed on earth.
It was about to cause great damage and to prevent this,
a spell was cast. In order to trap the spark of fire safely,
a whitefish was summoned.
The whitefish swallowed the spark
and sealed it inside of itself. However, the spark was too hot
and the fish swam in agony until another fish,
a light skinned pike was summoned to swallow the whitefish.
The scorching hot spark was too much for the pike too and yet
a third fish, a red salmon, had to be summoned to
swallow the pike and the fish and the spark with it.
There, in the belly of the salmon, inside the pike,
inside the whitefish, the spark was finally sealed safely.
When the spark was needed for making fire,
Ukko, the god of the sky was asked to drop a lightning bolt
and cut open the fish. There, inside of the fish,
wrapped in blue and red, surrounded by a golden halo,
was the spark of fire ready to be harnessed.
These sculptures represent the three fish in the story.
I reimagined the fish with a face and almost charred-like surface. The facial features are extracted from my own Karelian heritage and represent the roots of the story, but also they are a part of me and my roots. The original poem can be
found in SKVR.fi by the number 282 in section I4, told by
Arhippaińi Miihkali and collected by Borenius A. A..