Lonely Planet Writer

A photographer has created a stunning 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate independence centenary

A photographer has created a stunning dress made of ice designed in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence.

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä

The idea came about because photographer Suvi Sievilä wanted to create a special project as her personal centenary tribute to her home country. “The physical land of Finland takes the shape of a woman with one arm held high,” she tells Lonely Planet.

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä

“She is wearing a long, fluttering dress, and we Finns fondly call her ”The Maiden of Finland.” As Finland is best known for its long winters, thousands of lakes and the mysterious Lapland with its northern lights, I decided to combine many elements from this country in my tribute.”

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä

The project took many months of planning and preparation to complete, including five months of saving up enough empty milk cartons in which to freeze the ice blocks. Crafting the ice dress took Suvi five days and she had to battle rising air temperatures. “We live with snow and ice most of the year in Finland, and as it is possible to make a dress out of ice in your backyard, why not give it a try?” she says.

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland.and she made the blocks of ice out of milk cartons. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland.and she made the blocks of ice out of milk cartons. Image: Suvi Sievilä

The end result is beautiful with model Belinda Nieminen “wearing” the dress to stunning effect, and makeup artist Satu Sirelius creating the perfect look. Suvi says that there has been a great reaction worldwide to her “crazy and creative idea.”

 

“Finnish people have reacted very emotionally and are even moved to tears by this picture, because everybody knows what our border lines represent to us,” she explains. “The beautiful maiden with her fluttering dress – the shape of our land is one of our national symbols.”

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä

As a photographer, Suvi says she is spoilt for choice as there are so many unique landscapes to choose from in Finland. She finds inspiration in its beautiful woods and the diversity of its seasons and landscapes.

Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an 'ice dress' in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä
Photographer Suvi Sievilä has created an ‘ice dress’ in the shape of Finland to celebrate the centenary of its independence. Image: Suvi Sievilä

“During the winters when the trees are covered in white, everything looks like a fairytale,” she says. “I always want to create a story and a concept in my pictures. My passion is to bring beautiful landscapes together with a beautiful model to tell a story.”

For further information on Suvi’s work and this project, check out her blog.

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