Pictures of the Month/ Juha Penttinen: Ihtiriekko

29.04.2019 - 26.05.2019

In old Finnish mythologies ihtiriekko is a ghost of a deceased child that was not baptised or blessed or was buried to a wrong place. The creature can be recognised from the sounds that it makes; it can cry like a baby, laugh or answer when talked to. Some people have seen it following a person escaping in horror. Ihtiriekko usually appears looking the same it did when killed: naked, with marks of suffocating or a string around it’s neck. However it can also show up in the form of a bird, usually a willow grouse. It can change its form back and forth from a child to a willow grouse, ihtiriekko, a ghost of a bird.

Ihtiriekko is a continuation to Juha Penttinen’s previous exhibitions Heijastuksia, Kivipyörre and Jääpyörre. It’s a dreamlike journey to the conformities of nature and the mythologies of ancient religions. In the images the abstract mixes with recognisable and takes the viewer to the edges of real and imaginary worlds.

Juha Penttinen (b.1979) is an Oulu-based scriptwriter and director who made his first short movies at the age of seven. He studied audiovisual arts at Pikisaari school of arts and crafts and has directed and produced over one hundred audiovisual pieces. He’s a founding member of Acid Cinema artist collective. Penttinen also works as a nurse at a hospitals mental health unit.

The music of the video is composed by Jussi Väisänen (b 1976, M.A. literacy, M.Sc. computer science). Oulu-based Väisänen has a background in composing and producing ambient music and soundscapes. He’s known as the heart of Kidekone –project ( and is trained in classical music.


More about the artist at and in Instagram: juhapenttinen_art.

Juha Penttinen: Ihtiriekko


  • Juha Penttinen: Ihtiriekko
  • Juha Penttinen: Ihtiriekko