The June exhibition at Galerie Anhava was designed as an opening for discussion and a meeting place. Three artists each invited another practitioner to serve as a sparring partner for an exchange of ideas, to explore some common denominator or inspiring grounds. The result is a multidisciplinary compendium of encounters that gives rise to dialogues between light, matter and language. The show includes both standalone works and collaborations.
Heini Aho (b. 1979) combines elements of sculpture, installation and moving image into works that blend keen observations with contemplative thought. One of the distinctive characteristics of her work is the union of different natural elements, whether at the level of materials, form or linguistic expression. She is also frequently and deeply touched by the works of other forms of art and the sensory experiences they offer. Aho has participated in numerous exhibitions in Finland and abroad and has produced several public commissions. She was awarded the William Thuring Foundation’s main prize in 2016.
Virpi Vairinen (b. 1986) is a poet who is interested in embodiment, technology and humour, along with philosophical and political trends. She never ceases to be amazed by the world we have created. In her poems, she often explores the relationships we form with our technological environment. Vairinen has previously made numerous collaborative works, especially with performing artists. She has published four works of poetry, the latest of which, Kaikki tapahtuu niin paljon (Everything Happens So Much), was nominated for the Yle Dancing Bear Award in 2021.
”For this exhibition we worked together and separately. The works on show are clearly independent yet in conversation with each other. The originating impulses were images and word pairs that guided our respective practices. The words on display evoke powerful bodily and visual ideas, the images evoke verbal thoughts and the communication is associative and free. Exploring juxtapositions of images and words generated multi-sensory perceptions as well as ideas about possible worlds of smell and sound.”
Antti Laitinen (b. 1975) uses photography, sculpture, video, performance, installation and conceptual objects as his media. He draws inspiration from his everyday environment by deconstructing it – collecting, cutting, bending, digging and rearranging. Requiring hours of physical effort and activity to create, his works inspire contemplation of our relationship with the environment. Laitinen has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. He will have an extensive solo exhibition shown at the WAM Turku City Art Museum in summer 2022.
Ulf Mejergren (b. 1981) is a Stockholm-based architect whose practice is known for construction projects all over the world that blend the boundaries between art and architecture. Alongside his architectural work, most of it in public spaces and combining functionality and playfulness in unexpected ways, Mejergren has been developing a more personal project of huts made of natural materials. When Mejergren came across Antti Laitinen’s art, he felt a connection and suggested that they work together.
One Tree Four Seasons is a joint project and exploration of materials that Laitinen and Mejergren launched in April 2022 with support from Nordic Culture Point. Using an old alder tree growing on the outskirts of Stockholm and materials gathered from the surrounding nature, the artists will create four variations of the work, one for each season. For the first stage of the project, they have collected dead branches from the nearby forest and have woven them into a huge nest around the tree. The exhibition features a nighttime documentation of the tree in the form of a photographic work.
Jorma Puranen (b. 1951) is fascinated by the surface, its materiality and the strange and sometimes distorted space that opens up behind it – reality and its reflection. The documentary-like precision and sharpness in his photographs seem volatile and inconstant when they meet the landscape captured after rain. The blurs, reflections and interferences are reminiscent of the changeable layers of history that distort truth. Puranen has worked as a photographic artist since the 1970s and has made a distinguished international career for himself. From 1995–1998 he was Professor of Photography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
Tiina Pyykkinen (b. 1983) creates paintings that explore the themes of time, memory, colour and light. Her works are like translucent archives in which the narrative emerges on both an intangible and material level.
The layered painted pictorial planes create several superimposed levels.The mirror-like surfaces, at once monochromatic and multicoloured, activates the viewer to move and view the works from several angles. Pyykkinen was elected Young Finnish Artist of the Year in 2017. She has shown her work in numerous exhibitions both in Finland and Europe.
”My first encounter with Jorma Puranen was through artworks. I realised that our interests were very similar. Through his work I learned a great deal about historical perspective, eventfulness in painting and photography, and the encounter between light and matter. Since meeting Jorma years later, these ideas and themes have been part of our conversations and they continue to fascinate me greatly.”