The Come and Go installation consists of portrait slippers by visual artist Leena Illukka. She has applied hand embroidery in a new way and breaks the traditional way of presenting portraits in her personal and caricature portraits.


Mikko Oikari, senior curator, the Craft Museum of Finland
p. 050 553 3880, mikko.oikari [at] 

Leena Illukka, artist,

In her art, Illukka often creates a series of stories that focus on the individual and the individual’s relationship with the society. Exhibition is open 18.12.2020–7.3.2021.

The story of the Come and Go portrait slippers begins with the steps from the ground up. The form of the works shifts the idea to wandering, crossing the paths of life, and encountering others. The series combines the silent dialogue of absence and presence, as well as Illukka’s childhood, home, loved ones and time. 
“When making the series, I began to see my life in a new light. There are no final goodbyes, but the emptiness brought by separation turns into presence. The symbolism of the work lies in presence and absence, birth and death. By embroidering stitch by stitch, a person’s presence remains in the work, even if he or she was absent.” 

Leena Illukka’s multi-layered works combine sculpture, handicrafts and photography in a shocking way. The works are built from discovered and recycled materials as well as new raw materials. As a central theme in Illukka’s art, the individual’s multi-layered relationship with the environment, culture, and social change is repeated. Her works are figurative and storytelling installations where fiction and reality meet.  

The Come and Go series of portrait slippers began in 2013, after which it has grown and been supplemented over the years. The series has been exhibited in several exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Illukka has embroidered seven new portrait slippers for this exhibition.

Leena Illukka

Visual artist Leena Illukka (born 1962 in Porvoo) has built a comprehensive knowledge of textile art studies at the University of the Arts Helsinki and art studies at the Lahti Institute of Design and Art, as well as pedagogical studies at Haaga Helia based on her textile designer education. She has a master’s degree in art from Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.    

The works of visual artist Leena Illukka are stored in both domestic and international collections.