Julie Rafalski

Residency in Joutsa - Day 1

On my first day in Joutsa, Finland, I was particularly struck by the architecture in this rural village. All the houses have sloped roofs and hold an archetypal house shape. They have sideboards and are often painted in particular colours such as dark red, pale yellow or a sky blue. Thick white window frames enclose the large panes.

Inside, the wooden floorboards can be painted a dusty blue or a dark red.

I saw a yellow shed with a window much too big for it- one that would have looked more at home on a 19th century building in Paris. Appropriated on a shed here it became wonderfully surreal - as if inside the shed there was a some sort of miniature adaptation of a palace.

The colour combinations used on buildings are look more like they belong in childrens' storybooks than doors or on walls. They are the opposite of that which is safe, neutral and invisible.