• Johanna Väisänen: Öinen lehto
  • Johanna Väisänen: Oppitunteja vedestä
  • Johanna Väisänen: Lumijoki
  • Ulla-Mari Lindström: Maisemakerroksia 10
  • Ulla-Mari Lindström: Sammal kuusi mätäs
  • Ulla-Mari Lindström: Huurretta ja hiirenkorvia
  • Kohti itäisiä havumetsiä

Johanna Väisänen, Ulla-Mari Lindström

Towards the eastern coniferous forests

Jätkä 1 20.6.-7.7.2013

Ulla-Mari Lindström & Johanna Väisänen
Galleria Huuto, Jätkäsaari 1
20 June – 7 July 2013

Pictures of an idyll and destruction

Ulla-Mari Lindström

I spent a long time looking at the Savo landscape through a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens and a macro lens. I photographed the landscape as a 360° view, from the Puijo tower as well as from a crane placed in a viewing area. I photographed rocks, grass, treetops, clouds and everything in between.

In my mind, all these landscapes observed during different seasons and from different perspectives began to blend with each other creating abstract mental landscapes with new meanings. The experience is hardly ever the same when looking at a photograph as it was when one actually looked at the landscape. Through these double or multiple landscape photographs I try to reproduce the moment the photograph was taken.

I have never seen myself as a landscape photographer. However, now I am in a situation where landscapes and observing landscapes during different times of the day or year is part of my everyday life. A landscape is never the same.

When printing my photographs on wood, I got the feeling that Finnish landscapes always look idyllic, whether I have photographed a lonely tree in a field, scrubby birch trees in the mountains or directed my camera towards a thick leafless boggy forest. When printed on wood, a photograph resembles an old postcard found in a dresser drawer. The photographs are like memories of something that is gone – times and places that one can only dream about.

Johanna Väisänen

There is not much difference between photographing people and nature because people should be part of nature. An interesting perspective of both humanity and nature can be created by breaking the esthetic norms. The idea of pure and untouched nature is our own visual myth. These nearly mythical forests no longer exist in this country of commercial forests, except in conservation areas. Forests damaged by industrial activities are like injuries to a human body, signs of the life we are living.

The Lumijoki River, which originates in the Talvivaara mining area, flows like the Kalevala’s Tuonela River covered in limestone dust. The swamp reflects the black water, the experience is deeply rooted within us like in the source of nature, in the wilderness. The toxic waste cannot be seen, but we know it is there in the dead landscape.

I want make what the Talvivaara mine is doing to the environment visible. I photographed the bottom of the gypsum pond that leaked dry in the Talvivaara mining area during the spring of 2013. I also photographed the nearby areas of Ylä-Lumijärvi and Lumijoki. The environmental impacts are the most visible in these areas. Worst of all, however, is the fact that the water carries invisible heavy metals.

My two-dimensional works have been made on various sheet materials with the aim of depicting a burnt forest landscape. I also add three-dimensional elements to some of my works. I prefer recycled plywood as the foundation for my works. Its esthetic appeal is rough, worn by life. In addition to cameras and paint, my tools include a gas blowtorch, a chain saw and various types of milling tools.

Further information:

Ulla-Mari Lindström
Tel. +358 (0)50 911 7518

Johanna Väisänen
Tel. +358 (0)50 346 0335