Maiju Ahlgrén: The Comfort Zone

October 17–November 23, Lower gallery

”A current slogan repeated on a daily basis, is that ‘we have to get away from the comfort zone’. The comfort zone refers to a person’s natural state of being, which is somehow related to being numbed in a routine of rigidity. To me that doesn’t seem very enjoyable. This phrase also includes an unpleasant, forced element of someone knowing what is best for you, more than you know yourself. And after childhood this should not be the case.” 

”The name of this exhibition hints at a real comfort zone such as being, sensing and being curious about new things. The comfort zone might also be: simply being. People awaken and grow into their own blossom when they are free just to be their own wonderful self – when they themselves can define what feels right for themselves at that moment.”

- Maiju A.

The Comfort Zone is constructed out of two interactive pieces which play with colour theory and entice the viewer to wonder and test out results. The colour chart piece plays around with colour combinations by inviting the visitor to try on different coloured socks. The “Tasselnomy” piece (Tupsunomia) welcomes participators to float around the museum carrying their tassel to the pile. Through collaboration the work becomes an installation which changes every day. 

Maiju Ahlgrén completed her Master’s Degree majoring in textile arts at the School of Art and Design in the department of product and environmental design in 1997. One of Maiju’s environmental art pieces “Craft on my mind” (Käsityö mielessä) was shown at the Craft Museum of Finland in 2010. This piece was made up of about 220 badge/pins covered in fabric on which jargon and thoughts about craft were embroidered. Recently her work has been more connected to people and space, than with objects. ”For the past few years I have created environmental and public artwork for people who live in or are confined to institutions.” Maiju has also designed practical interior design products, accessories and clothes from recycled material. The art-tights “Kiss-kiss”, available at the museum’s gift shop, are also one of Maiju’s products. 

Maiju Ahlgrén’s website: http://www.maijuahlgren.net/