First, there is a theme. It emerges from the basis of some thought, issue or emotion that is somehow currently relevant and interesting for its visual look and content. The theme has to include something that is macabrely fascinating so that the inspiration is powerful enough to drive Saaristo into starting a long and painful working process. Her method is exploring the moments of discomfort in life by softening them with humor.
Saaristo changes the emotion or an issue to depict into a story, and thus a picture. Protagonist’s shape as well as his or her belongings and other objects in the picture take form during the working process.
Saaristo uses a hand mirrow and drawing from a model as tools. She observes the object that she is modeling close up and with scrutiny. Saaristo avoids using a photograpgh, and if she uses one, it is only because the themes of a picture are objects that cannot be brought into the working space or seen in real life.
Childhood interests Saaristo as seen through herself and the childhood she experineced, within the confinements of her own, limited mind that has inexhaustable and limitless concioisness.
Saaristo perceives life as a cruel, crazy, horrible and touching series of failures, harbouring few moments of success. Life is a life-long school in which the graduation diploma is the end. Nothing more tragic yet meaningful exists in the world than this time between birth and death.
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Raisa Raekallio & Misha del Val, Stiina Saaristo and Hanna Kanto – Navigating North
The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Collection is one of Finland’s most prestigious collections of contemporary art. It was donated to the City of Rovaniemi in 1983, and it is deposited at Rovaniemi Art Museum. This exhibition presents a selection of artworks from the Wihuri Foundation Collection chosen by Kiasma’s curators.
The exhibition looks north, featuring numerous artists who either come from northern Finland or reside there, highlighting themes related to the natural environment and local communities. One of its primary thematic concerns is the relationship between humans and nature. It portrays how nature is a source of life and strength, but also an object of control and exploitation upon which humans have left their imprint.
The exhibition features works by 48 artists, including Finnish Painters Raisa Raekallio and Misha del Val, Stiina Saaristo and Hanna Kanto.
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma