There was a heat wave in Frankfurt, so it was good to walk to the exhibition center early in the morning before the temperature rised to 40 Celcius. A total of 603 exhibitors presented their fashionable lifestyle and trend products at the 3-day lifestyle fair. My booth was in the Hall 8.
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.