• Riikka Kupsala, Kankaan paino
  • Riikka Kupsala, Kankaan paino
  • Riikka Kupsala, Kankaan paino

Riikka Kupsala

The Weight of Fabric

Huuto II 11.5.-4.6.2023

Riikka Kupsala
The Weight of Fabric

Examining one’s relationship with clothes

The global clothing industry burdens the environment and maintains social inequality. Turku-based artist Riikka Kupsala started to explore the environmental and social impacts of her clothing in order to understand the bigger picture and to find ways to do things differently. The Weight of Fabric exhibition features data, textile and video art and a workshop and invites viewers to examine their relationship with clothes. The exhibition is on display at Galleria Huuto in Helsinki from 11 May until 4 June 2023.

To make the use of clothes more sustainable, solutions are needed at the systemic level, giving individuals a role as citizens and consumers. When demanding new solutions from politicians and clothing companies, it is important that we recognize the problems associated with our habits related to clothing.

“Information on the harmful impacts of the clothing industry is available, but in the globalized world it is not linked to my favorite pants. I wanted to create a connection between them so that I would know more and feel more pain, in other words empathy towards the inanimate and animate environment and other people. Empathy brings about change,” Kupsala says.

At this exhibition, the connection is created through the artist’s personal data, which she collected on her clothes, and partly comparable general information, for example, regarding Finnish people’s clothing habits and global fiber production. Empathy is expressed through the open workshop where gallery visitors can try decorating patches with embroidery and nature motifs and use them to mend holes in clothes.

“If you take care of, fix and customize your clothes, you can strengthen your connection with them. By using your clothes longer, you can also reduce their ecological footprint,” Kupsala says.

The exhibition features an entity formed by individual works, spreading into the gallery space and online. Visitors get to see textile and video works dealing with data, a textile sculpture made of discarded clothes, and a workshop where they can make patches for clothes. The exhibition includes Instagram posts that comment on fashion brands’ business activities.

The creation of the work has been supported by the City of Turku / The Cultural Committee, and the VISEK Centre for the Promotion of Visual Arts.

Riikka Kupsala earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Arts Academy at the Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2017. She works with time and space arts in an idea-centered manner. Kupsala’s artistic work is based on moving images as well as sculpture and textile work techniques. Through her work, she explores consumption and its sustainability, approaching the theme from a personal perspective.

Contact details
Riikka Kupsala, riikka@kupsala.net

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