The striped Finnish rag rugs and woven wall hangings are traditional and typical decorations in Finnish homes. The colors, patterns, and stripes that inspire my paintings, filled the floors and walls of my childhood home. It is a common experience that one’s childhood visual world defines what one considers familiar even later in life. As an immigrant, I find that this accentuates my longing for the old places and times that largely do not exist anymore. This evokes the nostalgic, romantic feeling of the life lived, and times left behind; like foggy memories of a place that I feel I have been in the past but cannot quite recall all the details of the experience. In geological formations, such as canyon walls, I see the same familiar patterns at an enormous scale and representing much longer periods of time. I am interested in the possibilities of capturing the essence of geological time, a length of time that is difficult for us to comprehend. The core samples collected by geologists reveal variations in climate, life forms, and sedimentary composition, which fascinate me.
In my paintings and watercolors, I capture the essence of the strata: the colors, breaks in patterns, organic motifs, and how they relate to their surroundings. I paint stripes and I can recognize the landscape in them, but the stripes are in motion as if I was seeing a movie where I can slide back and forward in time and space. The clay work reflects the same line, color, and shape interests. I have been painting, scraping, and weaving clay into sculptural and functional pieces. Only after the kiln firing, where all the colors, minerals, and clay react to each other with the burning heat, can I see the final piece I imagined. The porcelain pieces are high fired in an oxidation or reduction kiln. The different mediums I use, serve to expand and deepen the connection I feel between geological times and childhood memories.
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