FINLAYSON ART AREA 2016
Finlayson Art Area, FAA, is a new visual arts event taking place in the old Finlayson factory area next to Tammerkoski rapids. FAA is a local, national and international art event offering an extraordinary art experience in the middle of the city.
FAA’s pilot event in the summer 2015 was successful and thousands of visitors enjoyed the exhibitions. The main concept of FAA also remains the same in the coming years: all the exhibitions and events offer free entry. We invite well-known artists and we also introduce some new names to the audience. Each year, we also have an international guest. We offer special events and guided tours during the summer.
Exhibitions take place both indoors and outdoors; in galleries and old factory halls as well as on streets and squares. The milieu is an important part of the event. Finlayson factory was established in 1820 by the Scotsman James Finlayson. Later in the 19th century, the area grew into “a town within a town” under the Nottbeck family’s ownership and the cotton factory became the biggest factory in the Nordic countries. The oldest building is the six-storey building called Kuusvooninkinen built in 1837. Other buildings charm with their robust red brick architecture.
The organiser is Himmelblau Printmaking Studio. We cooperate with Varma mutual pension insurance company, the city of Tampere, Finlayson Oy, big museums in the Pirkanmaa region, various operators of the Finlayson factory area as well as Media and Art of Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
Pertti Ketonen, director
+358 3 213 3050
33210 Tampere, Finland
- Click the name of the artist to get to home page
- Numbers show the exhibition place on the map (in the end of the page)
Mark Wallinger – co operated with Serlachius Museums Mänttä
Self Portrait (Times New Roman) (14. Main gate, photo above)
Pictorial and graphic artist, b. 1983, lives and works in St. Petersburg and Moscow
The method used by Tanya Akhmetgalieva in her impressive work varies from painting and sewing to graphic art and installations. The artist’s works made of thread fit in well at the Finlayson factory, which used to manufacture cotton thread and textiles. Akhmetgalieva has attracted broad international attention. In Finland, her works are included in collections such as those of the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA).
In the art of Tanya Akhmetgalieva, skilled handiwork is smoothly connected with contemporary trends and the aesthetics of pop art. The artist uses the opportunities of thread inventively to describe various phenomena of popular culture: a reality coloured by digitalisation; networking; the blurring of the border between private and public; and the seeking of individualism.
Akhmetgalieva’s works are like handicraft versions of Instagram or Facebook updates: pictures of new purchases, selfies and friend shots. Today, almost anything is worth publishing, and we show ourselves to exist by building a pictorial reality in the online ether – whether it is true or not. Akhmetgalieva also uses her art to examine her own memories and dreams. The threads in her sewn works tie the viewer strongly into the experiences. (10. Old factory, first floor)
Painter, b. 1970, lives and works in Helsinki
Petri Ala-Maunus paints large fantasy landscapes that combine detailed realism with dreamlike visions and unabashed romanticism. Handsome forests, waterfalls, waves of the sea and the dramatic use of light are reminiscent of Romantic landscape art and the Düsseldorf school of the 19th century.
At FAA, a large selection of works by Ala-Maunus is displayed in Kuusvooninkinen and one large work in the lobby of Finnkino Plevna. The subject matter of the paintings consists of parts of different landscapes. In his workroom, Ala-Maunus has 40 to 50 landscape images, from which he selects details to his work, making up the rest by himself. His newest paintings include stains similar to those in his printed landscape images. Viewers’ relationship to the paintings changes when they realise that they are seeing a painting of an image of a landscape, not a painting of a landscape. On the other hand, the painting becomes more real: it seems that it has a real photograph as its model.
In his work There is a Place in Heaven for Me and My Kind, located in a movie theatre, Ala-Maunus combines a fabulously beautiful landscape with familiar, grotesque characters familiar from popular culture. The monsters of filmland have gained access to a paradise where they seem to be rather satisfied. Have they gained peace for their soul, or is the scene deceptively calm? The characters looking at us take us along in the landscape: it is not certain that we can get back from this outing in one piece. (9. and 15. Old factory, first floor and the lobby of Finnkino Plevna cinema)
graphic artist, b. 1941, lives and works in Helsinki
Elina Luukanen is known for her intimate and fine-grained pictures of interiors, where shades of brown and blue combine into a harmonious whole. Luukanen initially studied architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology, but then discovered graphic art through assisting her mother, graphic artist Lea Ignatius. An esteemed master of the field, Pentti Kaskipuro, was the teacher of Luukanen from 1970 to 1974. Luukanen received the Pro Finlandia medal in 1988 and the Finnish state artist pension in 2004. Her work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions.
Elina Luukanen’s techniques are aquatint and line etching. In her work, old apartment blocks, back yards and staircases are like milieus for stories that the viewer can easily stop to ponder. The scale and the soft treatment of light create a strong feeling of objects and space. Romanticism, realism and surrealism are all combined in the world of the pictures. Time has stopped, and humans are only present through features of living. A wistful longing for past times is present in Luukanen’s views. (1. Printmaking Studio Himmelblau)
OLO consists of two artists: Pasi Karjula and Marko Vuokola. They have worked together ever since studying at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. One of OLO’s most prominent works, OLO No. 22, is located at Hietalahti in Helsinki. It consists of more than 50 polished steel balls.
The series of OLO works started in Tampere in 1990, when OLO No. 1 was exhibited at the Tampere Museum of Modern Art. The 39th work of the OLO series is erected at the Karonen school. It is intended to be permanent. The works seen at FAA are on loan from the Sara Hildén Art Museum and the Helsinki Art Museum. The works of OLO reflect the surrounding world, but also view our experiential environment from a new vantage point. (17. Finlaysoninkatu and -kuja streets, power plant’s corner)
Pasi Karjula, b. 1964, lives and works in Helsinki
Born in Virrat, Pasi Karjula studied at Kankaanpää Art School and in the sculptor programme of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. The artist is known for his wooden sculptures, conceptual works and large installations. Karjula was shortlisted for the Ars Fennica prize in 1999.
Marko Vuokola, b. 1967, lives and works in Helsinki
Born in Toijala, Marko Vuokola studied at the Orivesi Institute, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and the Academi voor Beeldende Kunst Enschede in the Netherlands. Vuokola’s unassertive works make viewers stop and help them to see things in a new way.
Sculptor, b. 1955, lives and works in Espoo
The public knows Pekka Jylhä especially for the monument to Urho Kekkonen located near Finlandia Hall (2000) and for his rabbit-themed installations. Jylhä combines organic and artificial materials in an ingenious way. In his works, the meanings of human-built culture are often combined with traces from the animal world.
Flower heaven – urban flowers, 1999
Pekka Jylhä executed this sculpture for display at Central Square in Tampere exclusively during the EU summit meetings in 1999. The original idea involved six balls, of which three were realised in the end. The work was sponsored by Finnair, Nokia and the City of Tampere. Pekka Jylhä describes the background of the sculpture:
“Flower heaven – urban flowers aims at lightness as a reaction to the heaviness of life. It aspires to freedom, flying and hovering. Like a shaman – freeing his own body from its weight, flying to another world, another level of consciousness, where he could find powers to transform reality. (Italo Calvino) There are moments when humanity seems condemned to heaviness, and the weight of matter almost crushes us. In the words of Kafka: I talked about a shaman and a hero of fairytales; the suffered lack that is transformed into lightness and makes it possible to fly into a realm where all lack disappears magically. It is these thoughts, among others, that gave birth to my work Flower heaven – urban flowers.” (5. Väinö Linna Square)
Pictorial, graphic and video artist, b. 1963, lives in Espoo and works in Helsinki
Antti Tanttu is a versatile artist working in painting, video, film, woodcuts and graphic art. From 2004 to 2009, he was a professor of graphic art at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. The exhibition at FAA includes woodcuts and mixed-media work on medium-density fibreboard as well as watercolours.
Tanttu’s work is often about loneliness, absence and longing. “Every human being needs to be alone sometimes. Sometimes you want to be alone, and sometimes you cannot stand the loneliness. The loneliness of an artist is not about the lack of company. It is something that accompanies the freedom of the profession.”
Wood is an important material for Tanttu. The subjects are first engraved in wood veneer and then printed on paper. The traces of the grains in the wood are visible in the finished works. As one of his starting points, the artist mentions the tree of life executed by him for the altarpiece of Viikki church.
Born in Spain, Tanttu sometimes selects Spanish-language names for his work, which opens up various perspectives. For instance, Malabarista means a conjuror, but also a trickster and a juggler.
Plain figures on a monochrome surface create a simple and stylish effect. The figures are sorrowful and sometimes even frightening, but they are often also coloured by humour. The images are like symbols of the deeper meanings of humanity. The subjects resemble fragments of stories whose end the viewer is left to ponder. (7. Old factory, second floor)
Sculptor, b. 1973, lives and works in Espoo
Kaisaleena Halinen is a versatile artist working with sculptures and spatial works. Her work is characterised by experimentation; the learning of new techniques and materials; and the errors and random events that often lead to new ideas and new ways of using materials.
“Dagen efter is a tree’s black dress, left lying on the floor after a party. I have covered an entire tree with silicone. It is as if I made a silicone mould of the tree and made a new bark for it; then opened up this bark from around the tree, removed the tree and finally sewed the ‘parts of the dress’ together again. Only the black dress of the tree is left.”
“The Whisperer is a tree covered with furry fabric. The trunk is from an apple tree, but the branches are from several different species of three. The work is thus a hybrid. I hope that the work will inspire as wide a range of interpretations as possible. For myself, it is a whispering figure in a forest. It may remind us of lines in a play that we have forgotten, or its existence itself can be a reminder.”
“The flags in Flag Day, I made from black artificial hair. The memorable moments in history always have their downside, and while the victor is celebrated, the existence of the loser is forgotten. The work is a tribute to the downsides of moments and things. When I came up with ideas for the tree stump works, I started to view the stumps as kinds of personalities. Working with large stumps took a lot of time and trouble, but I realised that I could express my ideas equally well through smaller ones.” (8. Old factory, second floor)
Painter, b. 1975, lives and works in Kangasniemi
Samuli Heimonen rose to prominence by being voted Young Artist of the Year in 2008. Heimonen is known for his large paintings with animals in the leading role. The years of study at the Orivesi Institute were a turning point in the young man’s road to becoming an artist; his attitude to art, its makers and the world more generally.
Heimonen describes the birth of his thematic world as follows: “As a maker of art, I am interested in those emotions where interest and fear are mixed. It is staggering to encounter things that are exciting, almost frightening, but nevertheless so interesting as to be attractive. Many of my works use elements that bring this kind of emotion to the surface, at least in myself.”
In his most recent work, the artist has a surprising new approach. The blazing colours highlight the fairy tale mood of the paintings, where deer, sheep, humans and wolves walk around. However, the message of the work goes deeper into the labyrinths of the subconscious.
The wolf portraits fascinate with their intensity. The character of the wolf is sinister and threatening, but it is also a lonely outsider. It is also full of force and freedom. Samuli Heimonen examines the image reflected by the wolf in the human mind; a shadow as yet unknown to its carrier. The artist’s starting point is to show how things are with respect to human beings. The meanings of the paintings grow into several layers. (3. Old factory, second floor)
Photographer, b. 1957, lives and works in Tampere
Marja Pirilä is known for her fascinating camera obscura images that show the everyday world in an unexpected light. Specialising in the camera obscura technique since 1996, Pirilä records moments where outdoor and indoor spaces interlock. With the age-old method, Pirilä charts living environments and mental landscapes, luring subconscious feelings into daylight. Light and enchantment with light are at the centre of her work.
“For the Finlayson Art Area, I adapted a new series of works from the larger Milavida series, which I photographed in 2011–13 at the then empty Näsilinna. When I worked long days in the desolate silence of the house, the spaces came alive with the rich and fantastic history of the palace. The space turned into a “dark room” that repeatedly conjured up the core and the magic of photography.
The photographs utilised the camera obscura technique, where light, entering a darkened room through a small hole, carries upside-down reflections of the surrounding landscape. I photographed this “dark room” phenomenon with an ordinary camera using long exposure times. I created the Milavida/Nottbeck collage images together with Iris Nuutinen. They are based on old family album photos of the Nottbeck family.
I photographed the solarigraphs of the collage images on the roof of the palace by exposing the landscape for several days. The trajectory of the sun was captured on the paper negatives. The arcs of the sun are interlocked with the memorial images of the old album pictures.” (16. and 16.2, Finnpark Plevna parking hall, exterior and staircase)
Graphic artist, b. 1971, lives and works in Espoo
Tiina Kivinen is known both for her mezzotint works, emphasising deep black colour, and her painterly and delicate monotypes. Small print runs are characteristic of Kivinen’s work. After a few prints, the plate often continues its life as the artist changes it and uses it again in her next work.
Kivinen’s childhood was full of drawing. Her grandfather worked at the Kymi paper factory and brought home large rolls of paper for her to draw on. As the rolls were larger than the small artist, her parents opened them up for her. The paper has since then been replaced by huge copper plates. The large-scale works seen at FAA have been created by Kivinen on the factory floor at Kuusvooninkinen. The works are monotypes; the artist has painted the images directly on the surface of the plates. As their name indicates, monotypes are unique works. Their momentary nature fascinates Kivinen.
The trace of her drypoint has become stronger over the years, and she herself has become more courageous as an artist. The artist is charmed by the simple elegance of the different work phases: she only has a drypoint and a copper plate or a pencil and paper in front of her.
Black and white are still the most important colours for Kivinen. Over the years, other colours have emerged alongside them, including orange, pink and green. Elements of nature have the main role, and behind the images there are Finnish landscapes. In Kivinen’s newer work, humans appear alongside nature. Contemporary culture is also involved, for instance in the form of hashtags in Black Hero. The simple and reflective theme of nature is, nevertheless, still present. (2. Gallery Himmelblau)
Sculptor, b. 1969, lives and works in Orimattila
Tapani Kokko was brought up at Kokkokylä in Pudasjärvi, surrounded by his family farm’s cows, pigs and nature. The doings and personality of local artist Kari Tykkyläinen made Kokko decide to become an artist too. To safeguard his future, Kokko trained as an electrician. He worked at odd jobs, played drums in a band and was an assistant to Kari Tykkyläinen. Kokko also trained as a carpenter and a wilderness guide and drove a taxi.
The young budding artist was increasingly interested in sculpture. Kokko was accepted by the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts on his first try. His sample works were physically the largest in the history of the Academy. Wood became his most important material. Boys with their giant penises were highlighted in the subject matter. Marriage and the births of his sons have affected Kokko’s art. He treats themes from childhood by mixing up familiar things in an original way. As a contrast to harmonious family life, the themes of his works have become rougher. Some works examine death and the fear of loss, for example.
Tapani Kokko’s sculptures combine the joyous attitude of a small boy with an honest relationship to humanity and a rough manner of execution. The cowshed in the yard is large enough for even big ideas to fit in. In addition to sculptures, Kokko makes pictorial works from wood veneer. His masculine attitude is balanced by bright colours full of zest for life. (13. Siperia interior and other interiors)
Video artist, b. 1972, lives and works in Helsinki
Minna Suoniemi works with moving image and video installation. She is interested in how disruption and failure can make normative structures and models visible. She has worked on loaded subjects, such as gender roles, motherhood and power relations, condensing her themes into an expression that is visually minimalist but has many layers of content.
Second Waltz, 2013
Second Waltz takes place in Milavida, a neo-Baroque castle in Tampere. A Finlayson factory patron’s son built this grand castle as a home for his family in 1898. The castle holds a tragic history, as the family never lived in it – the mother died when giving birth to her baby twins and the father died seven months later from an infection. Four orphaned children lived in Milavida for a few years with their carers. During the Finnish civil war of 1918, the palace served as the headquarters for both the Red and the White side, witnessing the horrifying reality of compatriots fighting each other.
“With the historic background, I conducted a scene as homage to my father and those who came before me. The relationship of father and daughter includes love and its own wars and times of peace. The most important thing is reconciliation and acceptance. We are close to each other, but neither of us is the same as the other person. I’ve been interested in the changes in social structure, which has allowed a rise in the social ladder for every new generation in many families, and how this phenomenon has affected the relationships between generations. I’m focusing on the contradiction between heritage and social class, where certain behavioural patterns seem alien to an individual. The type of behaviour that is considered primitive is often associated with people of lower class, whereas someone with inherited social capital knows the codes.” (4. Old factory, 2. floor)
The most unusual exhibition of the Finlayson Art Area has three-dimensional works by three artists, Einari Hyvönen, Jaakko Mattila and J-P Metsävainio, for viewing through red and cyan glasses. The exhibition includes watercolours, oil paintings, photographs and a video. The name 3D3 has its roots in two earlier exhibitions: 3D1 was held in Helsinki and 3D2 in Oulu. As there are three artists, it was natural to continue the series with a third one.
The idea for the joint exhibition emerged at Einari Hyvönen’s studio at Art Centre Salmela. Jaakko Mattila saw his colleague’s exhibition and was impressed. They thought that a 3D painting could also be done as a watercolour. To achieve triple symmetry, Hyvönen and Mattila wanted to involve a third artist and called J-P Metsävainio, whose space images they both admire.
The background of the works was the desire to bring an unexpected illusion in front of the viewer. The transformation of two-dimensional works into three-dimensional ones is an occasion for amusing discoveries. The three-dimensional technique originates in the 19th century. The anaglyphic 3D method is based on filtering colours. The glasses are usually either red and green or red and blue. (11. Media 54)
Jaakko Mattila, b. 1976, lives and works in Helsinki
Jaakko Mattila works with several different techniques. He paints in oil and alkyd paints and makes graphic works. The Finlayson area is familiar to Mattila. He often visits the Himmelblau workshop to make graphic prints and the old factory premises to work on large paintings. His style is unassertive. The basic elements are balls and circles. Mattila hones his shades of colour towards perfection and harmony. The shades look grey initially, but all the colours of the rainbow live in them.
J-P Metsävainio, lives and works in Oulu
Jukka-Pekka Metsävainio has achieved a lot of international acclaim. Among others, his space images have been published by the Daily Mail, Discover Magazine, NASA and National Geographic. NASA has selected his images as its image of the day several times. Metsävainio’s private observatory is located in Oulu city centre. Although his images are highly technical, he views his work as artistic nature photography. Because the Earth moves, the images are taken from a moving tripod. The colours of all the images are authentic and taken from the sky. Long exposure times are needed to bring the colours into view.
Einari Hyvönen, b. 1989, lives and works in Oulu
Einari Hyvönen uses his art to examine phenomena that would otherwise be impossible to experience. Some particular colour, shape or smell may awaken a wistful longing for memory in him. Hyvönen’s art is a means of travelling into emotional states, his own personal history and imaginary realities. The mysteries of life are a source of inspiration for him. Among other things, Hyvönen is interested in space, its diversity and unknown wonders.
Street paintings with Finlayson design (20. back yard of Old factory)
Finlayson factory was establish in 1820. The cotton factory manufactured yarn and textiles. Factory was closed in the early 90’s.