My exhibition Etiäinen reflects the beliefs and customs related to visiting traditions in Northern Savonia, mixing these with the pandemic experience. The dreamlike works are created from mouth-blown glass in Riihimäki, Suomenlinna and Nuutajärvi. Etiäinen, which premieres in the Kellarikalleria art gallery in Suonenjoki, is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Join the Virtual 360 exhibition by Rautalampilehti from here.
The exhibition also highlights the cooperation in the field of Finnish studio made glass. I have worked with Kari Alakoski and Marja Hepo-aho from Riihimäki for years now. They specialize in the creation of massive sculptural glass. For example the voluminous Cell and Orinnoro series are blown by these master glass blowers. The Miekkavesi sculpture also has a special mixture of two very different mediums: fish skin and blown glass. Designer and cobbler Tytti Porvari from Mikkeli has made a fish skin belt for the glass sculpture. There are also multiple layered graal sculptures blown by me in Lasistudio Hytti ry, in Suomenlinna island. The exhibition venue, Kellarikalleria also has a special role in my journey as an artist. It is the very firs place I have seen art as a child.
I have collected material for the exhibition through newspaper ads as well as local social media, asking what sort of customs people have in their family. For example, coffee drinking has a rich tradition. It is very precise which cup is offered to the guest or how when after the invitation it is appropriate to go to the coffee table. Also, if the spoon, a knife or a fork falls to the floor it can predict weddings, male or female guests.
In some families, Grandma knew to make coffee before the guests arrived because she had Etiäinen. The footsteps walked inside and sat in the living room for coffee. The quest soon walked in. Etiäinen, the name of the exhibition means an impression of a person, that walks before us, doing everything we are about to do before us. It’s in a way a living shadow of a person.
One important story in the exhibition is by a 17 years old woman that was planning a small wedding party with her sister during the first months of the Pandemic. She wondered if soap bubbles can spread the virus; How something innocent and beautiful can become frightening. This theme is mirrored in the Cell-sculptures of the exhibition.
The exhibition is open in Kellarikalleria, Suonenjoki 2 – 24.6.2021. After this it will continue to Gumbostrand Konst&Form in Sipoo and Art Museum Eemil in Lapinlahti.