LoKaL

LoKaL at Annankatu 19, just west of The Old Church in  Helsinki, was opened about a year ago by the photographer Katja Hagelstam. It is a simple but very elegant space that is a gallery and cafe ... the 72% art 28% coffee mentioned in an earlier post.They have a commendably ambitious programme of exhibitions, normally changing monthly, to show the work of Finnish craftsmen, photographers and furniture makers. The present show is entitled Element and is the summer exhibition that focuses on “different elements in Finnish nature.” 

The space appears to have been a shop but the aim is to create displays that are intimate as if they are in a home. There are just two rooms so you sit on furniture that might or might not be part of the exhibition to drink coffee, the coffee cups are taken down from shelves above what appears to be a normal kitchen unit but comes from a local maker and the tiles behind the sink were commissioned for the gallery. Throughout there is a sense of humanity and subtle humour ... or perhaps not so subtle for a notice above the sink points out that “everything is for sale unless it speaks” ...

In terrible danger of sounding like a travel guide, I would say that LoKaL is the one gallery in the Design District that you should not miss.