Ice Hearts

Special Kids On The Ice And In The Spotlight

While creating a large exhibition about the organisations which receive the support of the RAY (Raha-Automaattiyhdistys, a Finnish non-profit gambling company), Helsinki-based photographer Ville Varumo got inspired to start an ongoing project, which is as yet untitled, about a special type of sports club.

The first sports club he photographed was Icehearts – a project especially for children who have been recognised as being at risk of social exclusion early on and who require special support.

The first part of the series was focussed on ice hockey and Ville will probably keep this focus for a while: ‘I like the size and form of the ice hockey rink with all of its lines and colours – I think it has a certain graphical quality’, he told us.

We asked Ville some more about this new series:

The Plus: Could you tell us more about your career background?
Ville Varumo:
I am a Finnish-born art and fashion photographer, based in Helsinki. I started out in 2009, mostly focusing on landscapes, still lifes and portraiture, while slowly shifting into fashion.

TP: What was the most memorable moment you experienced whilst working with the children at Icehearts?
It was quite surprising to see their reactions to photographing them while in the midst of a game – some of them stopped playing and started to pose for the camera instead. That was quite funny, not for the coach though!

Before I started the project, I somehow knew that photographing them wouldn’t look so heroic or cool, and I tried to emphasize that in the pictures.


TP: Do you play ice hockey yourself?
I used to play a lot of ice hockey and soccer when I was a child. I guess it was partly that nostalgia that drew me to this project.