Pastel Lemon Yellow Soft Passive Aggressive is Heini Aho’s (born 1979) third solo exhibition at Galerie Anhava. Aho blends elements of sculpture, installation and the moving image in a wide range of ways to make fascinating and compelling works in which acute observations of her environment merge with reflective thought. He works address, among other things, issues of the multidimensionality of time, tension, perceptions of reality and human behaviour with insight and a sensitively curious attitude.
The works of the exhibition can be considered as musing condensations of Aho’s form of expression. They include, among other things, slow movement, smoke, coiling and releasing tensions and the moving image, but there are also completely static works. The artist uses a wide range of different materials, boldly combining, for instance, glass, sand, acrylic resin, wood and smoke, seeking their kinship or ‘mateship’. Bringing together various things of a different nature in terms of material, form and linguistic expression could be regarded as one of the characteristics of Aho’s work, as aptly stated in the title of the exhibition Pastel Lemon Yellow Soft Passive Aggressive.
For Corner Is a Place Where Two Sides Meet Aho assembled a large number of corners that she had sawed from furniture, boxes and objects, and which she placed in rows on a large area covering the wall. The corners next to each other could well be from objects of different size, but when removed by sawing and combined they form a uniform herd of angularities in the artwork.
In the video piece Touching the Modern Life a pair of hands first emerges from a black space and starts to slowly shape out of clay various simple objects from the human sphere of life. Familiar everyday items come into view from the dark: a jug, a book, a plate, a table and a chair. The wet clay, which gains a light colour in the dark space, gives this work and the exhibition as a whole a succulent and strong visual feel of material.
Full Door Stop consists of doors sawed to a low height and attached to the wall. They are between two objects and forced to remain immobile. Behind each of the doors is a human limb cast by Aho in acrylic resin which is pushing the door and matched on the other side by a wedge heel cast in dyed acrylic resin and jammed by the Aho between the door and the floor. Thoughts of pushing, resisting and braking movement are condensed in this piece into a kind of static still-life of opposing forces.
Spreading out on two walls, Fools Time is made of numerous wall-mounted glass objects of different size and shape that contain dark-coloured sand. Soft organic forms of blown glass are in continuous movement around their axes. Inside the objects, the sand flows, accumulates and is released, creating on the wall a continuously changing group of hourglasses, like a scale model of the universe or a reflection on man’s silly notion of time.
Heini Aho graduated from the Arts Academy of Turku in 2003 and the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2015. Her recent exhibitions include When Is Now? at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (2019–2020), Pori Biennale III – Centennial (2018) and Objekti 4 (2018). Her works are currently on show at the anniversary exhibition of the Turku Artists’ Association at the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku. Aho has been chosen to make new public works of art for the Finnish-Russian School in Helsinki and the Turku University Central Hospital. Her works are included in the collections of the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Saastamoinen Foundation, the Finnish State, and several Finnish and international private collections. Aho was awarded the main prize of the William Thuring Foundation in 2016. She is a member of the international Videokaffe artist collective.