Journey to the heartlands – Contemporary art in Central Finland 2015

2 October, 2015 – 10 January, 2016

This exhibition presenting Central Finnish art came about when the Jyväskylä Art Association and the Jyväskylä Art Museum, the Keuruu Museum as well as the Saarijärvi Museum were contemplating development possibilities for regional exhibition opportunities. These institutions were jointly interested in providing artists the possibility of showing their work in a broader context, over the traditional form of the Artist Associations annual exhibition. Additionally, it was important to appeal to the Central Finnish artists living elsewhere and to allure them on an exhibition journey back home to Central Finland.

The year 2015 was chosen for this celebratory exhibition in honour of the significant number of important anniversaries this year: the Jyväskylä Artist Association celebrates 70, the Äänekoski Artists Association 40, and the Saarijärvi Artist Association 30, years of activity. The Keuruu Artist Association will celebrate its 50th next year in 2016. In the future, this exhibition tradition is intended to reoccur every five years.

The curators for this exhibition series were artist Samuli Heimonen and art historian Teija isohauta. The selection of work for this exhibition was made through an open call for portfolio applications addressed to Central Finnish artists or artists with an affinity with Central Finland. The curators chose 20 artists from 162 applications.

During the summer, Naoji Ishiyama’s work was shown at Galleria Jarska in Juhola, Saarijärvi, and the Keuruu Museum presented sculptures by Kirsi Tapper and Noora Tapper. Along with the exhibition at the Jyväskylä Art Museum this autumn, contemporary art from Central Finland can also be seen at the Saarijärvi Museum where an exhibition of work by Jan Ijäs, Kati Immonen, Kapa, Jyrki Markkanen, Mika Natri, Anna Ruth, Henna Vainio and Sirpa Varis is shown until November 29th, 2015.
This website shares thoughts by the curators and tells more about the artists’ working habits. The recording of the artists’ lives was made possible in the spring of 2015, by an extensive documentation project on Central Finnish contemporary art, through interviews and videos made in the artists work spaces. The website also shares information on artist talks, curator tours, lectures, family days and other exhibition related events. Language: Finnish.

A Journey to the Heartlands Exhibition Artists in Jyväskylä Art Museum

Tuomo Blomqvist (born in Jyväskylä, lives in Jyväskylä)
”I am looking at the world from the outer limits of the countryside and city, at the edge of the forest. From here you can go in either direction. Time and environment are apparent in my work through my approach, subject and form. Being an artist, I fully resonate with my immediate environment even if my subject matter might be about the larger world or a more intimate world.”

Marjatta Holma (born in Jyväskylä, lives in Turku) 
"The painting continuum was made for the Jyväskylä Art Museum space. Colours, materials and mood are part of this piece’s content. The materials used are tempera, oil, different fabrics and mdf. I paint in tempera working and washing the surface in all kinds of ways.”

Arja Karppinen-Rekola (born in Simo, lives in Jyväskylä)
These tempera paintings combine layers of colour and forms, but also layers of the artist’s own religious beliefs and personal childhood memories. In the triptych of what appears to be an image of guardian angels with a girl sitting amongst the flowers, are interpretations of the archangels and Christ from iconic art.

Kalle Leino (born in Jyväskylä, lives in Helsinki) 
”Painting is fun when you free yourself from the expectations of success, and usually it is this freedom itself which leads to success. Although on the surface, many of my paintings seem maladroit, I have enjoyed myself in making them, and this, I feel is often communicated to the viewer. My work is primarily thought provoking rather than a demonstration of skill.”

Päivi Meriläinen (born in Piippola, lives in Jyväskylä)
”My work combines the sacred, woman-hood, blasphemy and some kind of interpretation of hypocrisy. Most religions despise women and condemn them to Hell for any self-expression, critical thinking and such activities. For this reason I wanted to portray women in a godly position. Humans have a great need for anything related to the sacred. Through my work, I have brought the sacred into the ordinary.

Tiina Pyykkinen (born in Saarijärvi, lives in Helsinki)
”I am presenting a cube-shaped room into which the spectator can enter. Furniture is positioned in a white space thoroughly painted. The reflective surface of the paint reacts with the strong lighting and the movements of the viewer. Momentary visions in my work are made from the mirror-like painted surface.”

Kyllikki Rämänen (born in Saarijärvi, lives in Saarijärvi)
”My artworks are thoughts painted in oil colour on board. I depict the adjectives of life. About what life is, without what there would be no balance, how small things can grow enormously and on the other hand how vastness can be almost non existent.”

Kimmo Schroderus (born in Jyväskylä, lives in Salo)
"I have continued my work with stainless steel. With my new work I have made alluringly burnished bling-bling sculptures. The abounding, perhaps a bit Rococo spirited, form confronts multilingual derision."

Noora Schroderus (born in Jyväskylä, lives in Salo)
"My piece is made from currency bills of different national origin, by embroidering different hairstyles onto the people figured on the bills. The work includes thoughts about the value of money, ownership, power and humanity as well as the paradox of cultural funding. In the creation process the original item is made useless, but it gains value as a material for art.

Exhibition team
Heimonen Samuli, Artist, exhibition curation, 2014–2015
Isohauta Teija, Art Historian, exhibition curation, 2014–2015
Kajander Kai, Project Secretary / Editor, Jyväskylä Art Museum, 1.3.–31.5.2015
Korhonen Laura, Project Coordinator / Public and Media Relations, Jyväskylä Art Museum, from 1.9.2014
Kotilainen Kari, Museum Director, Saarijärvi Museum
Kuskelin Jari, Photographer, Jyväskylä Art Museum, from 1.3.2015
Kuukka Ilkka, Head Secretary, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Arts Council of Central Finland, 1.1.–31.3 2013
Lokka Leena, Museum Curator, Jyväskylä Art Museum, project director
Oikari Jaana, Museum Curator, Jyväskylä Art Museum, coordinator of documentation of contemporary art in Central Finland
Pulkkinen Ritva, Museum Director, Keuruu Museum
Raippalinna Päivimarjut, Museum Executive Director, Jyväskylä museum services
Rautio Tuula, Project Secretary / preparation Jyväskylä Art Museum, 1.1.–31.5.2014
Revonkorpi Minja, President, Jyväskylä Artist Association, beginning 1.1.2015
Suomäki Pekka, President, Jyväskylä Artist Association, until 31.1.2014
Tolonen Katri, Museum Curator, Keuruu Museum, 1.1.–31.3. 2013
Turpeinen Sirpa, Museum Educator, Jyväskylä Art Museum, Public Relations Coordination

Thank you to our financial supporters: City of Jyväskylä, Regional Council of Central Finland, City of Keuruu, City of Saarijärvi, Beda, Katri and Aune Herala Foundation, Mannila Art Foundation of Saarijärvi

Thank you to our partners: Keuruu Artist Association, Art Association Siena, Kaupunkikerroin project/Arts Promotion Centre/Arts Council of Central Finland, Tapper Art Association, Jyväskylä City of Light, JAPA sustainable development Jyväskylä, City of Jyväskylä Cultural Services, KUOMA Cultural Environment Research programme, Union for Rural Education and Culture, Jyväskylä Adult Education Centre, Keskisuomalainen newspaper, Keuruu Adult Education Centre, Keuruu Megamarket, Saarijärvi Adult Education Centre, Saarijärvi Department of Culture, Tarvaala Community, Vaissi Oy