To express myself, I am using paint. The process itself is reminiscent of a ritual, an inseparable part of my work. Listening to music, I escape reality. And like the shamans of the Sami people, the noaids, I plunge into a state of trance, and paint "frantically". Raw, natural materials are often used in my process of creation: deer antlers, moss, hay, and fire. The interaction with fire contributes through the emergence of a matte, silvery-ashy coating that appears on the bright surface of the painting. Refraining from the white, traditional canvas for a while, I discovered carpets as a universal artistic medium. Images, color, and composition are already embedded in the carpet`s body, thus providing it with self-sufficient integrity. In conflict with the painting substrate`s powerful activity, while I`m revealing its potential through means of painting, I search for the poetry of form. Akin to the phenomenon of genetic material that transforms into life, I seek to convey the kinesis of individual experiences by applying paint on the static pattern, creating natural destruction, to be viewed from different locations, morphing with light. Over time, my creations turn into sizable installations. I strive for revelation: a portrait reminiscent of an icon, a landscape alike a lost totemic world, or sensual sexuality that calls for authenticity. Through form, I create conflict or harmony, as I interact with space and the viewer.
Acrylic/oil on carpet, 195x250 cm
Sápmi is what the Sami call their country. The Sami are an ancient, small Finno-Ugric people of Northern Europe. I am inspired by their harmonious relationship with nature and their penchant for the mysterious and unknown, expressed in various superstitions, belief in spirits, signs of nature, and witchcraft. The image of Lapland in Finnish poetry, music, and Sami folklore is the embodiment of the ideal of pristine beauty and archaic purity. The Finnish poet Aaro Hellaakoski describes his experience of solitary wonderings in Lapland in the following lines: “No thought can penetrate these vistas. A man is too insignificant to become part of reality”. At the same time, the Sami singer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää speaks of complete unity with nature:
I let my dreams come, my visions fill me. Swim like a white swan, sail in the blue sky.
And I was in the mountains, high snowy mountains;
nightingales singing far below near the Lapland mother.
Lapland’s remoteness and severe nature, the Sami ancient and mysterious culture, as well as Finnish poetry and music strongly resonate with me and served as an inspiration for one of my major works, “Sápmi”.
”Went to big varaks, went hunting, hunting deer. Killed the deer with a big arrow, a big arrow, an iron arrow... This arrow went straight into his heart, right into his hot bloody heart, and he fell on the snow and did not move... I took him with me to the churchyard, on my shoulders I brought him to graveyard, on his shoulders he brought a heavy one ... I cut off his horns, I cut off his horns and threw them into the sea. I threw big horns into the sea... I cut off his hooves, I cut off his hooves and threw them into the river... I brought the deer home, brought it home, gave its meat to my father and mother... I gave its meat to my father and mother, I’ll go and take a bloody heart, I’ll take a hot bloody heart to my sweet, kind ...”
Song of the Sami on the River Yena