UNITY – Sanctuary

Creativity is an underlying part of humanity. Artists often consider the viewer as the end consumer, but can art be made from just pure curiosity or the pleasure of exploration?

Any activity or product done with a communicative or aesthetic purpose carries meaning. Meanings which are shaped by the materials, techniques and forms – and the ideas and feelings they stimulate.

While We Sleep by Victoria Fofanova

Ink and soft pastels on paper / 42 x 59,4 cm

The subject matter is a combination of relationships, dreams, thoughts, and emotions experienced during sleep. While we sleep is the artists way of sharing her story.

“The strongest and most vivid feeling of care, love, and unity was when my mom, sister, and I were all sleeping in one room together. Nowadays I feel the same with my dogs. When they are sleeping near me, I have better dreams and more peaceful sleep, regardless of any vicissitudes. Somehow my dogs heal me from any possible anxiety, depression, and bad thoughts. They give me that safety and stability that everyone needs.”

I Left With My Ears Ringing by Pihla Paju

Charcoal on paper / 91,5 x 63 cm

The artwork I left with my ears ringing is an abstract piece made with charcoal and represents a specific evening before the pandemic. There are red curtains like the ones found in old theaters, bright lights and loud sounds.
All the different aspects together can feel numbing, but in a comforting way. The main idea of the artwork is to describe the sensations that people feel while participating in music events and how all those sensations become one. It connects people and creates an atmosphere that feels oddly calming. In this case, the event was a black metal concert in a venue called “Olympia-kortteli” located in Tampere.

Mountain Road by Robert Eftychiou

Mixed media / 77 x 100 cm

The purpose of the drawing is to give the viewer an idea of the setting, a sense of the awe and wonder of nature, and harmony/disharmony within this story. It gives the feeling of bonding and a glimpse of the relationships being developed.

This is the first large scale piece in a fantasy artwork series called “Renegade”. The artist has been working on it for approximately 8 months and is partially inspired by his time spent in Lapland, Cyprus, Africa and the USA.

“Mountain Road” is a story of two children (an elf girl and a young boy) who ran away from home to wander the world and seek their own fortunes, riches, and dreams. Accompanying the children is the elf’s older sister (a strong and powerful elf) and rogue soldiers that they crossed paths with. On their journey they find many companions who seek the same things they do, and they group to seek together.

The journey seems endless and their path unclear, but they press on, two blue-eyed children unaware of the dangers and cruelty of the world, but with hopes of changing it for the better – maybe with the help of their newfound friends they will succeed.

Capacity by Halla Hannelin

Oil on canvas / 45 x 30 cm

The work is an oil painting of a horse. It is painted on a linen canvas that is coated with black gesso. The sides of the canvas are painted gold.

”I have always found those old romantic war paintings (such as the ones by Rubens and Eugene Delacroix) very captivating and fascinating. I tend to pay special attention to the horses in the paintings. The scenes are so busy and there is so much happening, that the horse blends in even with its overpowering strength and size. In my painting I wanted to erase all the commotion and emphasize the incredible mental and physical forces of the animal that has been such an important asset for mankind for centuries. The gold sides are a nod to the romantic and decorative frames of those works I was inspired by.”

Bouquet by Enya Saalinki

Oil on canvas / 60 x 50 cm

“Bouquet” is made with oil paints on canvas, and the techniques used are dry brushing and impasto – techniques which Saalinki learned in school.

”I wanted to make a floral painting, since my mother mistakenly thought another painting I had done was a flower bouquet. I had been planning to do a study on them anyway. The colours looked beautiful together on the palette, so without much thinking I did a sketch and just began painting. My method of painting is typically quite quick and without much thought behind it, it’s guided by my emotions.”

A breakfast table without the lovers by Saara Kankare

Oil on canvas / 32 x 45 cm

Kankare’s idea was to create a still life oil painting of a breakfast table, full of life and different types of elements. She wanted the atmosphere to be calm, but with an added melancholic feel. To do so, she added dark colours and a technique that compliments the feeling of loneliness. Usually when portraying these feelings, artists include a person in the artwork, but Kankare wanted to remove that element and focus on what is left.

Tokyo, January 2020 by Veera Jokitalo

Acrylic on board / 40 x 40 cm

Veera Jokitalo visited Japan in the beginning of 2020, before COVID-19 began to spread globally. One memorable movement was her visit to a little peony garden in Tokyo. While Tokyo can be a hectic and busy city, she experienced the garden as one of the most quiet and peaceful places she has ever been. She reflected on how being aware of one’s feelings and senses can easily be forgotten within the hectic city and on how the garden alternatively seemed to make her value and focus on her senses more than usual; the beauty of the blossoming peonies and their scent really impressed her with their presence. Manifesting on these opposites and understanding how they can complete each other was a valuable insight for Jokitalo.

The painting is done with acrylics on board. Inspired by photos she had taken during her visit to the garden, Jokitalo first drew the peonies on paper. She then traced them out on charcoal paper and reproduced them on the board before painting them.

Einari, New Horizon & Untitled Mushrooms by Iiris Manner

Acrylic on canvas / 60 x 50 cm / 60 x 60 cm / 60 x 40 cm

Einari is a painting Inspired by renaissance paintings and is named after a specific black cat in the artists life.  

New horizon is a painting that features a pirate ship at sea. The painting is meant to imply a mysterious but adventurous feeling. Pirates, water and the ocean are common topics for the artist to use in their work.

Untitled mushrooms is a painting that explores the use of colours, lights, and textures without using any paintbrushes.

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