It’s inspirational to be part of the Salone del Mobile 2020, internationally known as Milan Furniture Fair. Last year I visited Italy several times because of Venice glass week and A’Design Awards. I feel fortunate to be able to return once again! The Italian design atmosphere is wild and wonderful. After every visit my mind is full of new ideas for glass.
One of the projects that I will exhibit at the fair will be Cassiopeia. In the Glass Studio Hytti that is located at Suomenlinna fortress island, we use recycled Iittala Factory’s glass. In Cassiopeia I wanted to create an organic shape by gathering large glass sharts on the surface of the piece. This gives the object extremely rough texture that is carefully melted until all the sharp edges have been smoothed into bumpy ice like overlay.
The early prorotypes of the Cassipeia can also be found from Unionin26 design shop in Helsinki. It’s good to get some feedback before the trip to Milan, because there is still time to make the final adjustments to the project. I’m specially interested to highlight the recycled material as the basis of the design. There is somethign poetic about using broken glass as the material of a new piece.
I’m really looking forward to the year 2017 that is actually the 100-year anniversary of Finland. Many exciting new opportunities are awaiting for example in Ohio, Japan and England. The 100 year theme has inspired me to start a new narrative on glass that is based on Finnish national epic Kalevala. It will be a surreal and dreamlike story about independence and finding one’s true self.
When looking back I find that the year 2016 has been full of glass adventures. Last summer I had my first solo exhibition in Gallery G12 in Helsinki where I exhibited a glass story about a flying boat. Even there has been many expo’s before this, it was in a way my first step as a independent glass artist. That step was important to take, because a solo show gave the glass story harmony that it needed. After this the year got really busy; I had a change to travel around and see different kind of events, shows, fairs and festivals that were concentrated on design, glass and contemporary art.
Every exhibition in 2016 has been memorable: For example in Glasrijk Tubbergen it was delightful to see a small Dutch town full of modern glass. Art from multiple European masters were exhibited all around the town; in glass houses in the middle of the town square to magical illuminated glass forests. I travelled to Tubbergen with my fellow glass artists Marja Hepo-aho and Kari Alakoski. In November our group also had a great opportunity to show our art in beautiful Galerie De Lintelo, in Haaksbergen.
Many of the events I have taken part have been about contemporary art. This is why it was really refreshing to visit also Tendence fair in Frankfurt and immerse in a world of design. At the moment I’m concentrating on developing further some of my design objects, for example Polar Night-lamp. It would be cool to have a small lamp series in the future. Let’s see how it goes!
During the X-mas holidays I have had many surprises in my letterbox: Design magazines that I have given interviews have travelled to my breakfast table from UK, Spain and Netherlands. It is always exiting to talk with writers, because it is a change to really stop and think about all the things behind the art. The most peculiar interview lately have been in Finnish Karjala magazine, where I was asked to tell about my family heritage and how my roots have influenced my creativity. Because of the interview I realised that so many of my dearest artistic themes springs from the old believes, stories and dreams that are told by my family. They are in a way distant echoes of the past. This interview gave me many ideas for the Kalevala-story that I’m working with at the moment. It was also great fun to give a very extensive interview to Huff Magazine from UK that opened my eyes on what my art is all about: dreams that are like puzzles and poems: Build up piece by piece – layer by layer. What is hidden, is the most important.
European Glass Festival 2016 will take place in Wrocław, the European Capital of Culture 2016. I will participate in Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, the main exhibition of event that will also tour in Łódź, Legnica and Kraków.
Robert Louis Stevensons novella: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) has been the starting point of my creative process that has been an examination of the inner struggle between good and evil inside of human mind. I wanted to capture the duality of human nature inside the glass: feminine and masculine, human and animal, barbarian and civilized. The main idea behind the pieces was also to create a sanctuary for broken minds where a mind can be shattered, but also complete in the same time.
Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde – Festival Main Exhibition
Wrocław Główny Station – 17.10.2016 – 10.11.2016 – Session Room
Łódź –17.11.2016 – 10.12.2016 – Municipal Art Gallery – Re:Medium Gallery – ul. Piotrkowska Legnica –16.12.2016 – 29.01.2017 – RING Gallery in Legnica
Kraków – 07.02.2017 – 31.03.2017 – BB Gallery
Summer exhibitions are soon opening. I have been working with graal’s that have 3 image layers on top of each other. These super thick pieces need 10 day annealing, so next Thursday will be really exiting day when the annealer is finally opened.