A series of three wacky public art installations consisting of 646 dressed scarecrow-esque figures made from wood, straw and dirt, by the internationally acclaimed Finnish artist Reijo Kela, appeared magically overnight across north Kent in Gravesham, Medway and Swale in the summer of 2007.

The inspiration behind hei people is Kela’s permanent art installation called ‘The silent people of Kainuu’ aka ‘The Oddity of Highway 5’, in a sparsely populated area in Northern Finland. Over 1000 figures have been standing in a remote field by the motorway since 1994 and a local youth group looks after them changing their outfits twice a year.

The hei people was a project commissioned by NKLAAP & managed by Poppana.


A documentary film of the hei people project is currently in post-production.