The Fine Art digital exhibition BIG WHOOP is a group show by and featuring young emerging artists. The exhibition team Jonathan Cary, Janna Lindfors, Aleksandra Näveri, Jenny Vesiväki, Jasmin Gams and Petra Vuorinen.

The top definition for the expression “big whoop” on is

 “Big deal, important occurrence. Usually used sarcastically or to blow something off.”

The title of the exhibition might be taken as just what the definition entails; sarcasm. Given a more broad view though, the artworks are very much about the opposite; they exude sincerity and compassion. 

In the throws of a global pandemic, it is somewhat impossible to ignore the shift that encompasses just about all values and meanings. What was significant before the virus, might now look like something else. However, it is important to focus on all the complexities of life, especially when something hugely dramatic wants to diminish everything else and close us off into fear. 

In this strange time of fundamental change, art can be comforting; whether it be as a time out, a distraction, a fresh thought, a reminder of something good. BIG WHOOP is an exhibition of windows into the human abilities of seeing, healing, understanding and creating meaning.

What is the concept/idea of the exhibition? How many artists are there and what types of work includes?

The basic concept of BIG WHOOP is to deal with personal thoughts and occurrences which are important for ourselves or topical in our every day lives. These topics can for example consist of dealing with our emotions, study our surroundings or follow our inspirations. The exhibition features twelve different artists who represent their own viewpoints through paintings, photographs, ink drawings, mixed media, charcoal drawings or digital illustrations.

What was the inspiration for the exhibition? Why BIG WHOOP?

One of the main inspirations has been to see the artworks of others. The student community can be scattered, and a shared exhibition is a great way to make it stronger. We are curious to see what everyone is actually making. Also, it is wonderful to be able to show the world what is going on creatively amongst the next generation of artists. BIG WHOOP was the first idea that came up when we started thinking about a theme or a name for the exhibition. We wanted something vague, yet energetic. BIG WHOOP came up, because it is sarcastic and literally big. Often art isn’t valued, but really, art and creativity are incredibly important. We wanna say: Look here! See! Art is cool and amazing and valuable! Hah! Told you!

You were originally going to have a physical exhibition correct? How did you go about changing it?

We were planning at first do do a physical exhibition at Arthouse Café Kehräsaari which is also known as 931. The opening would have been at 04.04 and it would have lasted until the beginning of may. Because of the COVID-19 situation the opening was cancelled and the physical exhibition has been postponed.  That is why we decided to make an online exhibition instead. We opted to create both a website and instagram because instagram is more accessible and interactive but in a website we could have everything neat and tidy at one space. Our website is online since 13.04 at everyone can go check out all the artworks there and the instagram page @bigwhoop.2020 will be posting everyday till 01.05. You can check it out and give us feedback there 🙂

What challenges did you face when creating the exhibition online?

After we decided to have the exhibition online, the form of the content changed as well. When we were considering the Arthouse Cafe Kehräsaari as our exhibition space, the artworks were supposed to work without text. However, in the online exhibition text describing the artists, artworks and the exhibition itself became to an important role. We had to build the exhibition in a different way, thinking about the viewers. In the cafe many customers of the cafe would have been our viewers but now with the online exhibition we need to reach the viewers through social media and attract their attention to see our website.After all the online platform gave us also more resourses to exhibit art, as limited space in the physical exhibition was no longer a problem.

Do you think in the future you will have a physical BIG WHOOP? 

When a contagious respitory flu spreads in to a pandemic, and you’re trying to plan an exhibition, you learn alot about adapting your plans to unexpected situations. In many ways it presents oportunities to improve your existing idea and re-envision what you are actually aiming for.  And you end up having a better chance at reaching your goals. ✌🏼

What have you learned from the experience?

Since we live in the era of uncertainty it is hard to predict when it would be possible to hold the physical exhibition but who knows what the future holds. If we’re lucky we might as well have an exhibition perhaps in Arthouse Café Kehräsaari at some point. The most important thing right now however is to follow the government’s requirements, stay connected and be creative.

Be sure to see the exhibition:

An interview with Aleksandra Näveri, conducted and edited by Isabella Presnal

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