Year’s 2022 theme in the Europa stamp series is legends and myths. In its Europa stamps, Posti presents two goddesses mentioned in Kalevala poems, among other works. On the shape-cut stamps, Päivätär and Kuutar spin gold and silver thread from the rays of the sun and moon, from which gold and silver clothes are woven.
Illustrator Emmi-Riikka Vartiainen, who was chosen to design the stamps, is herself interested in mysticism. “This work involves a lot of my own illustration-related dreams, so realizing them felt exciting on a personal level. I went through the whole spectrum of emotions while searching for information about the characters and mental images emerging of them.”
To start off, Vartiainen became acquainted with Finnish mythology, folklore and poetry in order to gain a broader understanding of the stories and mythical figures in the field. “As the topic was nature deities, I also spent a lot of time in nature thinking about these ladies. I sketched out the characters on paper sitting on any hummock or stone I happened to come across. Eventually, the nature, beauty and grandeur of the characters began to take shape and I felt like I, too, was living in the story. In the studio, the look of the illustrations fell into place during the coloring phase.”
“I drew Päivätär and Kuutar as young maidens who are timeless nature deities of celestial bodies, out of the reach of everyday concepts and laws. They are metaphors for the beauty of nature and the power of the sun and the moon. I wanted the illustrations of the characters to have that same mystical power.”
Europa: legends and myths will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing two different international no-value indicator stamps.
Date of issue 27.4.2022