Anglia Ruskin artists want to stay on the bus

Published: 3 December 2015 at 15:04

Bordello by Alice Rivers

Helsinki Bus Station exhibition shows how students are following their own path

Helsinki Bus Station, an exhibition of art inspired by the titular transport terminus, will go on show in Cambridge on 15 December – but don’t expect pictures of the Finnish capital, or even buses.

The exhibition, at the Changing Spaces gallery on Norfolk Street, has been organised by students on the MA in Fine Art and MA in Printmaking courses at Anglia Ruskin University.

The title of the exhibition comes from the Helsinki Bus Station theory outlined by Finnish-American photographer Arno Minkkinen, who used it to explain the route that artists should take to find their own voice.

Student Eleanor Breeze explained: 

“Minkkinen talks about how each bus that departs from the bus station initially takes the same route, stopping in the same places.  And as artists we pick a career direction or specialism, but we all start by following the same route. 

“We might get off the bus after a few stops, thinking we have reached our destination, only to be compared to other artists.  At that point we realise we have been following someone else’s path. 

“Minkkinen tells us to stay on the bus.  If we stay on long enough we’ll find that the bus routes start to diverge into their own separate journeys and as artists we will find our own individual paths.”

Helsinki Bus Station features the work of 11 Anglia Ruskin students who have chosen to stay on the bus and includes work from a range of mediums, including video, printmaking and sculpture.

Visitors to the exhibition can expect to find other-worldly, grotesque beauty in drawings by Gillian Ellis and Emma Black, voyeuristic work from Alice Rivers, and humour in the form of the paintings of Paul Arsenault.

Second year MA Fine Art student Gooee O’Brien said:

“The three paintings presented in this exhibition result from my recent Tuscan painting trip.

“They conjure not only the memory of the hot day in July when I painted them but also the smells of the land and vegetation, the sounds of the toads in the nearby pond, the boar rummaging in the woodland nearby and even the pesky midges nibbling my ankles.

“My bus ride has been fraught with difficulty but has also brought me great pleasure.  I have developed greatly and it is one ride that I don’t want to stop.”

Helsinki Bus Station will run from Tuesday, 15 December until Sunday, 20 December (10am-4pm) and is free to attend.  Visit for further details.