When counting minutes is not necessary, a day can be paced by the light on the lake; the season considered by the birds awake; the time measured by the steps into the water.
This ongoing project started 1 ½ years ago.
It’s not a day on any calendar.
This video animation has taken inspiration from the ‘hauntedness’ of Meroogal house in Nowra. It is Freud’s uncanny – at once both familiar and frightening. Meroogal for me is an archetypal place, where past and present mingle, evoking memories, dreams, fears and desires, long since buried into the corners of mind. Each room, each cupboard and dark corner has its own hidden story.
Installation, video, sound.
This is another configuration for my installation from 2017, with the same name. This time the chair, wing and their shadows intermingle and become an essential part of the video; while separate, the elements simultaneously merge, to form one.
Mixed media on canvas, 183 x 204cm
This painting started as a large sketch, when I tried to work out my installation Every angel is terrifying. It became an extension of the themes I was exploring then: absence, loss and a guest for hope.
This work took me back to painting after a few years break, when I was exploring other mediums. I missed painting but I wasn’t sure any more how to do it or where to start.
With Visitor I realised that something profound had changed in my way of painting. While the narrative side is still important, the material and tactile elements have much larger emphasis than before.
Installation, video, sound.
This video-installation is the sum of my last few years’ exploration of loss and mortality. Woven through this work are the unanswerable questions that surround suffering and loss - why is this happening? What comes after? What is the point of it all? The installation is a subtle provocation to reflect on these universal themes. I chose specific objects - a burnt bed and lopsided chair, a wing, a captive bird - as symbols for the inexpressible. The fire takes on the role of an unstoppable force. The installation presents a story of destruction, captivity and hope of transformation. I wanted to capture our shared, paradoxical human experience: the co-existence of strength and fragility; fear and possibility.
My video animation deluge is a simple tale of a natural or manmade disaster, and survival. It suggests art – in this case in a form of music - as a vehicle for redemption, offering a way out when an impasse seems inevitable. Resilience encompasses an ability to see an opening within an obstacle; in my work the obstacle becomes a part of new solution. A creative act launches the transformation of misfortune into possibility.
In this piece I use child-like imagery, storytelling and basic technique to convey a bigger issue. Fairy tales or mythological narratives are an ancient medium. Stories are vehicles for transporting the mind and imagination to difficult and hidden matters of importance. While uncovering an inconvenient truth, they propose an unconventional and alternative way of seeing.
I was inspired to create this piece by a visit to Meroogal, a house in Nowra on NSW’s south coast, now part of Sydney Living Museums. The house was built in the 1800’s and lived in by four generations of women. It has been preserved exactly as it was with in their time. It reminded me of my grandmother’s house in Finland, equally untouched for decades, carrying the history and memory of generations. The piano in Meroogal House was a strong connecting link to my childhood, where piano playing dominated and set the mood in the living room. The atmosphere of Meroogal is one that is female and Christian; it could speak of a kind of independence and freedom or imprisonment and frustration. I chose a stop motion technique for this work because as a medium it is simple, raw and non-pretentious, and resonates with the storytelling side of what I want to share.
Piano 2016 was chosen for the Meroogal House biennial show for female artists in 2016.
2 channel video
These companion pieces are part of a response to the deaths of my brother and two close friends as well as to family illness. I continue to develop these themes today. Here I work with a representative object. I wanted to make a connection with ancient beliefs in the elements and the potential for both the destructive and transformative powers of fire and water. I wanted the viewer to stay with the process and be drawn in to the destructive, hypnotic and consuming effect of the fire and the water almost as a meditation. Recently I saw a video work The Crossing (1996) by Bill Viola, the celebrated American video artist whose work I admire. He also used the same elements to explore the theme of mortality.
In each of these 3 videos I wanted to explore the idea of an overwhelming, uncontrolled, unstoppable force and the emotions this evokes in the viewer.
This series of photographs came out of a visit to a deserted, ramshackle house near Smiths Lake on the Mid North Coast of NSW; it was full of shadows and a sense of abandonment. I used my childhood toys and discoveries from flea markets to tell a tale. The doll is child-like and sinister, vulnerable and strong all at once.
This stop-motion animation is a gift, a tribute, to a very dear friend who died. It is about hope and the possibility of transformation, the mystery of life and death and a way of coping with her absence.
This is my first stop-motion video and inspired by an arid area in far west NSW – all flat, big skies, parched sun and nothingness. I found the little girls - they are the original paper dolls that we cut out from cereal boxes in my childhood - and constructed a tiny cardboard hut reminiscent of my childhood summers in Finland. I took them to the foreign, dry landscape of Australia - my second home country. The video animation that followed examines the paradoxes and meanings of ‘home’. The discovery of stop-motion video gave me an exciting new medium where I could tell ‘a big story’ with simple tools.
Sleep features my own doll and was an experiment to work in sculptural dimensions. The work evokes multi fold opposing questions and feelings. Doll or child? Dead or asleep? Caged or enclosed? In bed or imprisoned? Innocent or defiled…
This work was a stepping stone piece both in its form - photography - and in the subject matter. I was struck by the magnitude of the Australian landscape - foreign and awe-inspiring, frightening and deadly. The work is about finding a home and identity in a new country and landscape. It is the first piece where shadows take a prominent role. Originally I took the photos as preparation for a series of paintings, but then realised that the language of painting was artificial and forced for this work. The photographs are complete as they are.