Lokal's Recognition Gift 2021 goes to Matti Söderkultalahti

For the second time and as an annual tradition, Lokal Helsinki is awarding a Finnish artisan with a Recognition Gift. The annual award is intended to honour craftsmanship and to encourage new players in the field of arts and crafts.

This year the jury has chosen Matti Söderkultalahti, a wood artisan, as the recipient of the 2021 Recognition Gift. Honourable mentions went to ceramicist-designer Nathalie Lautenbacher and textile and ceramics artist Veera Kulju.  Congratulations!

This year, the recipient of the Recognition Gift was chosen by a jury consisting of stylist and podcast host Kirsikka Simberg, business director and editor-in-chief Sami Sykkö,  entrepreneur and author Saku Tuominen and doctor and author Emilia Vuorisalmi.

The value of the Recognition Gift is 1000 euro.

The Jury for Lokal’s Recognition Gift 2021: Kirsikka Simberg, Sami Sykkö, Saku Tuominen and Emilia Vuorisalmi.

Recognition Gift winner 2021 – Matti Söderkultalahti

Jury’s rationale:

“The work of Söderkultalahti is loud, original and bold. A kind of praise for wood as a material, for its soul. The end result is often so natural and harmonious that when you look at it, you forget the endless hours it has taken to work on the object. As such, these works could be expected to grow in nature.”

Matti Söderkultalahti (b. 1978), Master Carpenter. Born in Evijärvi, lives and works in Mathildedal, Finland.

“I have specialized in all aspects of woodturning and have almost 20 years of experience. My own work mainly consists of large bowls and vessels made in carefully selected Finnish hardwoods. My primary aim is to create powerful, appealing objects in which the wood is in the best possible harmony with its turned form – rather than making practical bowls for everyday use. My bowls are unique, exceptionally well-crafted sculptural objects and can be found in numerous private collections.”

The work of Matti Söderkultalahti is on display in the gallery space of Glasshouse Helsinki, at Onoma’s Christmas exhibition until the end of this year. View Glasshouse Helsinki opening hours here.

Honourable mention 2021 – Veera Kulju

Jury’s rationale: “Veera Kulju’s creative world moves on the interesting frontiers of art, handicraft and design. The works combine a kind of sensitive, poetic vision with the praise of everyday life.”

Veera Kulju (b. 1975) is a fine artist and designer who has graduated from Aalto University. Her work has been presented at exhibitions in Finland and internationally. Kulju worked as the visiting artist of the Arabia Art Department from 2017 to 2019. Her work is included in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and the Finnish State Art Collection.

Honourable mention 2021 – Nathalie Lautenbacher

Jury’s rationale: “Nathalie Lautenbacher’s work is delicate, but at the same time memorable. The delicate beauty of Nathalie’s pottery colours and shapes makes them look almost like jewellery.”

Franco-Finnish ceramicist and designer Nathalie Lautenbacher (b. 1974) has been creating tableware collections renowned for their delicate colour, subtle form and strong personal touch since 1999. Each year brings new additions to the ceramics family, with each unique object diligently created by pouring coloured porcelain into a plaster mold.