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Unique Virtual Experience Showcases the Work of the John Nurminen Foundation

Unique Virtual Experience Showcases the Work of the John Nurminen Foundation

Aava meri kauniina päivänä sininen
Photo: Raimo Sundelin

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The John Nurminen Foundation’s ‘The Baltic Sea’s Heritage’ virtual exhibition presents a novel way of illustrating maritime culture and environmental efforts. Hosted at Digimuseo, the exhibition is aimed at people of all ages who are interested in maritime culture and in the drive to save the Baltic Sea.

Showcasing the work being done by the John Nurminen Foundation, the exhibition is devised as a virtual experience with new and inspiring insights for everyone, fostering interest in Baltic Sea conservation.

“The Foundation has thousands of stories and facts to share about the sea. Our extensive collections, impactful environmental projects and sizable image archive are a generous information source for all kinds of applications. Curating these materials into a virtual exhibition narrating the work of the Foundation has been a great journey,” says Maria Erkheikki, Publications and Collections Manager at the Foundation.

Myths, threats, courage, hope and gratitude

The exhibition includes the gripping tale of the M/S Leena, one of the many ships to have come to grief in the Baltic Sea. Here, battleships have fired on each other, vessels have been led astray, and mines have been laid to disrupt shipping. Even today, the Baltic Sea is a nexus of power and politics.

Human activities multiply the threats faced by the sea, and one of the features of the exhibition allows visitors to test their knowledge of the factors impacting the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea.

The virtual exhibition also allows visitors to get up close and personal with old maps of the mythical Far North. These maps excitingly contain not only fact but also fiction in the form of then current beliefs and myths, besides being sprinkled with political, economic and religious features.

Even today, there are plenty of beliefs and outdated information about the state of the Baltic Sea and the impact of human activities. The exhibition seeks to bust certain scientific myths about the sea.

Courage and hope can be seen in the results of environmental efforts to date and the memorable stories associated with the Foundation’s maritime art collection. The sea has always been Finland’s bridge to the rest of the world and a continuous source of joy and inspiration. At the end of the virtual exhibition, visitors are treated to memories inspired by the sea and given the opportunity to make a concrete gesture of thanks to the Baltic Sea. This is a chance to reflect on what the individual can do to contribute to saving our shared Baltic Sea.

Kollaasikuva Itämeren perintö -näyttelyn sisällöstä
The exhibition allows visitors to take a closer look at old maps and to test whether their understanding of the Baltic Sea is accurate.

Novel virtual exhibition model

The ‘The Baltic Sea’s Heritage’ exhibition was developed on a new digital platform focusing on narrative and inclusion.

“With this exhibition, we are aiming to create a novel narrative-driven exhibition experience that is independent of bricks and mortar. The Foundation partnered with the Finnish Museum Association to create Digimuseo a few years ago. This new exhibition concept is intended to demonstrate the potential of the virtual world. There is no longer a single ‘correct’ model for how to build an exhibition. We created this new exhibition with All Things Content and Indevit in order to offer visitors a novel experience,” says Maria Erkheikki.

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