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HomeFinland"Finland's Ugliest Vases" to Be Showcased at Lepaa Exhibition on August 17–19

“Finland’s Ugliest Vases” to Be Showcased at Lepaa Exhibition on August 17–19


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Have you ever received an awkward vase as a gift from your mother-in-law or aunt? While vases are convenient presents, opinions on their aesthetics can vary widely. To celebrate the diversity and imperfections of vases, a first-of-its-kind “Finland’s Ugliest Vase” contest will take place at the Lepaa 2023 garden exhibition from August 17th to 19th. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for the most horrendous vase from a selection of around 40 contenders.

The aim of the contest is to highlight the quirkiness and uniqueness of vases while reminding us to value pre-existing, albeit imperfect, possessions instead of constantly updating our interiors.

The idea for the competition originated from the exhibition director, Elina Vuori.

“Over the years, I’ve accumulated various vases, and finding the perfect match for a new bouquet isn’t always easy. Each one seems somehow wrong or ugly. So, we decided to gather all these peculiar pots together in one place,” said Vuori.

Beyond celebrating the charm of imperfection, the contest also aims to encourage a greater appreciation for overlooked items that have fallen out of trend. Rather than updating our décor every few years, could we respect and cherish the existing, perhaps imperfect, items more?

The candidates for the “Ugliest Vase” contest have been selected from the organizers’ collections and supplemented with discoveries from flea markets.

“We have various categories of ‘ugly,’ including old-fashioned vases, modern and quirky designs, homemade ceramic creations, humorous pieces with cheeky faces or texts, and even seasonal-themed vases for Christmas and Easter,” explained Vuori. “Each person’s perception of ugliness and beauty is different.”

The competition is expected to reveal fascinating generational differences in tastes. For instance, a kitsch vase from the early 1980s might be seen as trendy and relevant by Generation Z, while the bulky glass vases from the 1970s might find their way back into modern interiors.

The winner of the contest will be announced on the Lepaa exhibition’s Facebook and Instagram pages after the event.

List of “Ugliest Vase” Categories:

  • Old-fashioned (completely outdated)
  • Modern (non-functional monstrosities and strange design wonders)
  • Kitsch (imitation crystal, rose-patterned, gold-sparkling…)
  • Humorous (bottom-shaped, funny faces, amusing texts…)
  • Souvenirs (domestic and foreign)
  • Homemade ceramics and other quirky creations
  • Prize vases, e.g., from sports competitions (made of alpaca, glass…)
  • Inherited vases (fine crystal and tin delicacies from jewelry stores)
  • Gifted precious vases, crystal, etc. (birthday and retirement presents)
  • Finnish design, especially older pieces
  • Foreign art (Murano, etc.)
  • Seasonal themes, Christmas, Easter…
  • “Inventive” vases depicting other subjects (a pistol, paper bag, head…)

The Lepaa exhibition is an annual professional garden event held in the Lepaa estate. Organized by the Finnish Horticultural Association, Häme University of Applied Sciences/Häme Vocational Institute, and Lepaa Student Union, the exhibition brings together all sectors of the horticulture and green industry. It welcomes professionals from property management, landscaping, greenhouse farming, berry, and vegetable cultivation, nursery growers, garden retailers, as well as municipal gardening and golf course maintenance staff, and industry contractors. The event also caters to farmers, home gardeners, students, researchers, and authorities. Since 1964, the exhibition has been an integral part of the horticulture and gardening community.

The exhibition will be open from August 17th to 19th, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday and Friday, and from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday.

Source: Helsinki Times


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