Photographer Christoffer Relander explores childhood memories on Åland stamp


09 June 2023
The work of Finnish art photographer Christoffer Relander features on a single stamp, marking the first time an artist has been given free rein to create any stamp they like.

June 9 was the first time Åland Post issues a stamp where an artist has been given free rein to create a stamp motif.

The “Open Edition” assignment went to Finnish art photographer Christoffer Relander, who decided to portray a personal memory from his childhood summers. “I have roots in Åland and knew that I wanted to create something personal with a link to Åland when planning the stamp issue Bark boat in a jar”, Christoffer explains.
Christoffer has been a photographer since 2009 and is an award-winning and internationally renowned art photographer. In 2020, he and his family moved to Åland from Tammisaari, Finland.

“When planning the issue Bark boat in a jar, I thought about keywords like childhood, nostalgia, summer, and archipelago. I remembered this type of wooden boat that I made as a child with my father at our summer place in Finland. I decided to recreate the boat, but this time with my grandfather who used to make them with his father as well. To involve yet another generation in the process, I asked my seven-year-old daughter to sketch the illustration for the postmark.

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“The glass jar is a recycled jam jar that I photographed in my studio. The concept is recognizable from my series of photos Jarred & Displaced, in which I ‘filled’ glass jars with a variety of environments. To me, the stamp is a preserved childhood memory. Hopefully, other people will also identify with it and feel a sense of nostalgia when they see the stamp.”

A photo from Christoffer's childhood summer was his inspiration for the stamp. In the photo from 1994, 7-year-old Christoffer is launching a bark boat that he built together with his father at their summer resort. Photo: Niklas Relander
Christoffer Relander is known for his multi-exposed photographs that have gained attention around the world. In early 2022, he represented Finland at the Beijing International Art Biennale. He also did the photography for Åland Post’s stamp book ‘A story through Åland stamps 2022’.

Facts about the issue

Name of issue Bark boat in a jar
Date of issue 9 June 2023                                                                                               
Artist Christoffer Relander 
Design Christoffer Relander & Johanna Finne 
Edition 45 000 
Denomination Världen (€3.00)
Price FDC €4.00
Price maximum card €3.70
Stamp size 30 × 40 mm 
Sheet size 2 × 12 stamps 
Paper 110 g/m2 
Perforation 13 per 2 cm 
Process 4-colour offset 
Printer Cartor Security Printers

Order the stamp, first day cover and maximum card at , by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail [email protected] or telephone: +358 18 636 639.

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