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Gertrude Bell and Meeri Koutaniemi: Hidden Freedom

6 May – 10 September 2023

The documentary works of Gertrude Bell (1868–1926) and Meeri Koutaniemi (b. 1987) come together in this summer exhibition. The British Gertrude Bell worked as an explorer, author, political officer, archaeologist and a spy in the late 19th and early 20th century. Bell is particularly known for her photographs and letters. Meeri Koutaniemi is a Finnish photographer, who depicts social themes and highlights human rights issues in her work. Both Bell and Koutaniemi have travelled around the Middle East and Asia, observing and photographing local events and people. This exhibition showcases documentation produced by the two photographers in the same countries in two different eras, and creates a dialogue between their works.

Photo: Gertrude Bell, March 1903, Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar), GB/3/2/3/143, Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University.

Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen: 101 for All

Gallery Sidetrack, 6 May –10 September 2023

101 for All is an interactive media installation to which 30 divisive statements have been drawn from the public debate. One hundred people share their personal opinions, representing a statistical cross-section of the population of Finland. The video premiered approximately ten years ago. The exhibition at Salo Art Museum provides an opportunity to consider whether anything has changed. The intimate artwork gives a deep view into people’s experiences and how political decisions appear in their life.

Photo: Tellervo Kalleinen ja Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen



The building of the Salo Art Museum is an old locomotive shed. More than 100 years old, the roundhouse has in its history gone through several phases of expansion. As a result of the last expansion, the building was converted into a modern art museum. The old brick section was renovated into exhibition halls, and next to that was built a new section, in which offices and work areas, art storage, and an on-demand café are located. The roundhouse was opened as an art museum in October 1998.

Salo Art museum, photo: Niclas Warius


In the inner courtyard of the museum stands a locomotive on the rotating turntable. The locomotive was purchased at the time of the museum´s opening from the Locomotive Park of Haapamäki. The renovation of the “chicken” type of locomotive was done by the Locomotive Museum Association of Haapamäki. The locomotive is dated to 1921, and it was in use until 1970. It got its nickname due to its characteristic “pecking” type of movement.