A series of five gouache paintings mounted on linen dyed with plant pigments, steel fixtures and cable, sand bag weights
Spells, HAM – Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
The first word in the title ‘kuu’ is ‘moon’ in Finnish, while the second ‘maa’ means ‘earth’ or ’soil’. The title could be read as ‘moon-like earth’ or ‘hot’, when the words are put together. The small gouache paintings pasted on pieces of linen depict arid landscapes and are hung from a steel wire that circles the space. A sense of the drought-driven, chlorophyll-devoid world was further enhanced by the washed-out look of the linens dyed with the very elements that make plants’ photosynthesis possible and purposeful; leafs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The name of the exhibition ‘Spells’ can be taken to mean a stretch of time or a magical invocation, underlining the spiritual and religious approaches we turn to, when faced with inhospitable conditions, against which there are neither technological nor scientific solutions.
Exhibition assistance: Lauri Vainio
Photos © Maija Toivanen – HAM