Terra Incognita was a term for unknown areas on early maps. Skillful dragon illustrations represented cartographers’ views of these unexplored territories (“HC SVNT DRACONES”, “here are dragons”). The monsters in early maps were often based on old myths.
This exhibition is also, in a way, about a cartographer’s visions. The giants are reminiscent of the Asian Kara shi shi figures. According to the Buddhist tradition, those evil-looking lion dogs serve a good cause – their job is to protect temples, homes and the people in them. Kara shi shi figures are often depicted in pairs with a ball under their paw.
The current world view is being shaken in many ways – perhaps the most dramatic consequences could be to do with global warming. Will this be the view of a future cartographer – mythical creatures on the edge of the known world? What will happen to the earth? Will the protective figures be successful or will the indifference of mankind be greater?
THE BATTLE FOR LIGHT &
ON OUR WAY TO STAGLIENO
These exhibitions are based on my stay at the Arts Promotion Centre Finland residence in Genoa, Italy, in the autumn of 2014. Staglieno is a monumental sculpture park and cemetery in Genoa. The name of the exhibition refers to the cemetery paths and also on a more abstract level to the dance of death. The La Danza Macabra theme also symbolizes many other confrontations in life or public policy: light and darkness constantly battling for seasons and the human mind. A battle for the light of sense also seems to be going on in our society. Many of the Enlightenment ideals regarding human rights and equality – and even democracy – are being tested on a daily basis. The Battle for Light also refers to the battle in favor of a policy that the burden of the weakest should be shared in accordance with the ideals of a welfare state. In my Ecce Homo series I wonder whether it is possible to see the surface as well as beyond the surface – the flesh, blood and bones – at the same time and what one sees then.
Janus and Justitia
Civil disobedience was the topic on which I wrote my final thesis at law school. Even back then the choice of topic reflected my interest in the many faces of justice. In my paintings I interpret the figure of the goddess of justice through Janus faces. One can see that in these paintings Justitia has two faces with legality and justice seeking their place within them. My disobedient giants are Justitia’s little helpers who through their actions provoke socially important debates about the boundaries of justice. My figures may be critical, feisty, provocative and curious, even humorous, but I hope that they are always non-violent. My disobedient giants include Justitia’s helper in the Arctic as well as Justitia’s headstrong daughter who balances the relationship between law and anarchy in her play.
FREAKS – A HOMMAGE TO FREE SPIRITS
In these figures I look for a pure, primitive style of expression, a style that doesn't avoid ugliness, a style that values traditions and considers rough to be beautiful. These paintings pay homage to those who have had the courage to go their own way – maybe by choosing a marginal group or maybe by provoking. They have encouraged many others faced with life’s choices or just kept our values and society moving by creating confusion. They have underlined the importance of believing in the craziest dreams by reminding us that every boy and girl has wings on their back...
MONA LISA MEETS MOTÖRHEAD &
ROCKERS AND FEMINISTS
Through the rock music world’s frame of reference, the exhibitions explore gender and age-related role expectations and playing with them – without forgetting a feminist tone of voice. Some of the works depict the energy of music and how it spreads at a concert from the musicians/singer to the audience. I am one of those artists who see music as an important source of inspiration. The language of my paintings and my favorite music is actually the same – I am fascinated by a certain primitive style of expression: roughness, intuitive force, energy coming from within, pure and primitive being. One of the aims of my works is to approach such a human essence that could be recognized irrespective of one’s culture or living environment.
Introkuva: AJ Savolainen
Teoskuvat: Arto Rummukainen
Terra Incognita -näyttelyn kuvat: Pasi Autio
Kakolan näyttelyn kuva: Marjo Levlin