Some of the many archipelago midsummer pole formations. Source: Fossenius, Mai (1951) Majgren Majträd Majstång. Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup.
The art of masting. Source: Romme (1778). Description de l’Art de la Mâture. Paris: Gallica.
Archipelago boatyard circa 1900 depicting women at work in boat building. Source: Träbiten, nr 44. Published by Föreningen Allmoge Båtar.


6.-9.7. / 14.-19.9. / 6.-9.11.2021

FRAUD (Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo) returned to Seili a number of times during 2021. In July, Midsummer Mast was dismantled in Turku and the structure was floated along the waterways in the Archipelago, in the ‘traditional’ fashion, to the island of Seili. In September, FRAUD witnessed the ongoing experiments with the flora on the island, informing their collaboration with artist Lotta Petronella to incorporate a critical feminist herbarium in their new work Fields of May.

In the autumn FRAUD began their collaboration with the carpenter and boat builder Joel Simberg, based in Turku Archipelago, to refashion the museum ship Sigyn’s old masts and deck planks into an outdoor public sculpture. They will salvage the work Midsummer Mast, presented in Fiskars (2020) and in Turku (2021), to create Fields of May, a semi-permanent installation at the Archipelago Research Institute’s campus in Seili:

Fields of May will act as an arena for ritual and discussion. The structure itself explores juridical & environmental maypole traditions, aiming to foster an inquiry into the reach of the ‘Blue bio-economy’ in the Baltic Sea. In the Turku Archipelago maypoles were bound to maritime trade and in the 19th Century the appearance of maypoles in the area demonstrated the prowess of the village’s shipbuilding capacity. As such Fields of May will catalyse a space for congregation and conversation. Over the years it will slowly decompose.”

Fields of May is commissioned by CAA as part of Spectres in Change, funded by Kone Foundation. It will be inaugurated in the spring 2022 in Seili as part of an exhibition and a public programme in collaboration with the Archipelago Research Institute.

More information on Midsummer Mast and its journey to Seili here.