• Kirjapuisto
  • Hakis III
  • Seiska spora
  • Taiteilija Muhammad metross

Kalle Turakka Purhonen


Jätkä 1 14.11.-29.11.2015

Kalle Turakka Purhonen
Galleria Huuto Jätkäsaari, together with Pauliina Turakka Purhonen

About Drawing:

“That guy just draws what he sees… Fuck, I’m jealous.”

The comment above from an incoherent passenger on a tram is a good characterization of the works in this exhibition. I can even accept the jealousy as I feel satisfied after having found a good working method.

During the autumn of 2014 and the spring of 2015, I drew all over Helsinki, in public spaces, in Merihaka and on public transportation, depending on the weather. I drew from observation and from memory, on the spot, and then continued in a café or by the kitchen table. Perhaps I should call it painting as I worked with brushes, ink and water. The transition from the mere use of ink and lines to the wash technique occurred so recently that in my mind I still think about drawing.

There are many reasons why a person wants to depict their surrounding environment and the reasons have been discussed on many occasions, so I won’t do it again here. Beauty and ugliness are in the eye of the beholder (although also partly the artist’s responsibility in case of an exhibition), and so are politics and epochs.

I can’t think of a more original word, so I would have to describe my working method as meditative. In the hustle and bustle of the city, sitting on an ice fishing chair one has to find a firm and comfortable position. The surrounding action has to be ignored as a disturbance and explored as the target of curious eyes. One has to understand why they want to draw in a particular location and what it consists of. Without rushing but in a determined manner one has to start applying diluted ink to the paper, without worrying about one’s inadequate skills to depict all the richness.

Well, it didn’t always go that well but the formation of an ideal is half the battle. The most challenging aspect is the people because they are the most interesting – without them the city is nothing – but as subjects they are timid and restless. Fortunately smartphones slow down their pace and help them forget about the possible outside observers.

I was not interested in relying on photographs as it would have ruined the magic of being in a moment when drawing. I also wanted to develop my willpower in terms of pictures and be able to finish them irrespective of the observation. I wanted to develop a croquis-like ruthlessness and visual memory that allows one to recall essential details. This, of course, also applies to depicting cars and light situations.

Drawing landscapes is a great tradition and I know that with my on-off focus I will hardly become as good as David Hockney or Bruegel the Elder. But it does not worry me when I am able to sit down peacefully with everything going on around me and pictures keep appearing. I just wonder with satisfaction how I have been able to absorb the idea of a trade where in the morning one just goes out to look around.

Exhibition supported by:
Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation
Alfred Kordelin Foundation
Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Photo: Pasi Mälkiä