Preparations for the Spring Show

Greetings,

One thing I learned from the first ten days of my son’s life is that a newborn makes working on your own stuff very, very challenging. Some days went by without a single spare moment for me or my partner. Until the dust settles – hopefully after a few weeks – and in lieu of my SketchBook Sunday post (for I sketched nothing but baby pictures), here are some insights into my work for the university’s final exhibition show, the yearly Kuvan Kevät. My contribution to the exhibition will be quite different from usual.

For years now I have been organizing my artistic research in fields (In physics, a field is a physical quantity that has a value for each point in space and time – Wikipedia). Other artists might have more poetic or literary terms for their own research, but I like to give mine something of a scientific flavor. It creates an interesting contrast when the works have barely anything to do with science – which is the case with my Iridescent Fields.

My work started with an attempt at making a holistic cartography, where one large central map explores the different modalities of thought that help humans understand the relationship between themselves, the world and the transcendent. It turned out to be a bit overambitious for such a short time period, so I started focusing instead on what I was really doing during all these attempts: lines on paper. I decided to reconquer this primitive human behaviour and let symbols and interaction flesh themselves out.

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These are just some of my works, but you get the idea. I also decided to narrow the theme of the work itself down on the most ambiguous of symbols: the snake or serpent.

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Last year I had the pleasure of working with Finnish artist Jukka Korkeila on a large text-based wall piece called Jokainen kuolinvuode on Taivaan portti (‘Every deathbed is a gate to Heaven’) that relates the last night of Padre Pio as he passed away. The text was entirely hand-written and the skulls were prints. In its entirety the piece was over four meters high and, if I recall correctly, about eight or ten meters wide.

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Photo by Stella Ojala / Amos Andersson Museum

Working on this piece made me more confident about my writing skills, and also working on a bigger scale. While I can’t say more about the final piece without revealing too much, I can say that it will involve a lot of reading and quite a few images too, so don’t be too shy to stay a bit longer in front of it if you have the opportunity to do so.

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This year the university’s Spring Show will be in Forum Box, Exhibition Laboratory and Project Room, Helsinki, from Saturday 7th to Sunday 29th, 2016. My work will be in Project Room.

(On a related note, here is an interview by the university, about my experience studying there.)

Until next week,

PT.

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