The John Nurminen Foundation’s exhibition, Sea of Memories, takes us on a journey to the Finns’ Baltic Sea memories. The exhibition, comprising of a wall of photographs and video art, can be borrowed for free by companies, museums, and other organizations.

We want to make the culture of the Baltic Sea and our common heritage visible in a way that is innovative. The goal of the exhibition is to describe what the Baltic Sea we all share is like. Approximately 50 maritime memories were selected for the installation from amongst a very colourful offering of stories. The versatility of the memories highlights how the Baltic Sea can appear to be gloomy and frightening, but is also, on the other hand, seen as a beloved sea, full of light.

Our relationship with marine nature is often formed already when we are children, and these experiences stay with us far into adulthood. The stories in the exhibition showcase the relationship we build with the sea, both as children and as adults. The sea has many voices and takes on many forms. The heritage of memories about the sea is just as rich. The Sea of Memories exhibition shows us the memories that have already been collected, and invites us to consider our own relationship with the Sea we all share.

Borrow the exhibition


The movable version of the exhibition can be lent out. The installation comprises a dismountable wall of photographs and an integrated video display, featuring actors interpreting the memories, brought to life with video clips and animations.

The width of the exhibition wall is 3 m, height 2.5 m, and depth 40 cm. The installation is bilingual: stories are presented in Finnish and in Swedish, and the video has subtitles. The exhibition can be borrowed free of charge, but the borrower will take care of assembly and other related costs.

You can enquire about borrowing the exhibition by contacting Anni Kujala, either by phone +358 (0)50 467 6740, or by email anni.kujala (at)


The exhibition was created as part of the Sea of Memories project

The Sea of Memories project, implemented in 2020 by the John Nurminen Foundation, sought to study the mental images people have of the sea, and to prompt the Finns to think about their relationship with the Baltic Sea. Making people aware of the story of the sea and its history is important to us, since this makes it easier to understand why the Baltic Sea, a sea that is one of its kind, must be protected.

We received more than 200 memories from Finns, and built an installation that was opened to the public at the Citycenter mall on Baltic Sea Day, 27 August 2020. In November 2020, the exhibition was also on display at the Helsinki Central Library Oodi.

Marine memories were collected in cooperation with Åbo Akademi, various museums, and other stakeholders. All memories that had provided authorization to do so were also delivered to the archives of the Finnish Literature Society, where they are available to researchers. Our goal is to leave a permanent mark in the memory of the nation, and accrue our national cultural heritage!

See the video that was compiled of the memories (in Finnish and Swedish) 

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