Fabric books


Roihupelto, Helsinki, January 2020 

Slow room is a series of projects and multimedia installations around the act of sewing, the spaces of confinement and ritual, and time. Through visual, performative and dialogical processes I will investigate assumed social roles, ideas of judgement, social and antisocial being, as well as personal and collective boundaries.

The collective process of sewing has been practiced for generations and centuries. I have a fascination with it as it can be both the most enjoyable creative activity, and well as used as punishment and means of enslavery - in prisons and sweatshops. This potential violence of an ordinary recreational process in a shared environment is the key concept of my current artistic practice.

I  use a needle and thread and other sewing and mark-making tools to record our environment.  These objects will be on view during the exhibition. They are tactile, the audience is invited to touch the pages. This quality is becoming obsolete and almost scandalous in the times of covid19 pandemic. The fabrics and other materials that the books are made from allow for them to be washed and ironed.

Hand dyed using natural materials found at home like coffee and tea and frozen berries and beets leftover from dying Easter eggs.

I use these sketchbooks especially when traveling or camping and for this reason I look for ways to create lightweight, compact sets to take with me. I reappropriate old tins and cans and plastic bags, and use camping equipment such as Swiss Army knife as the tools for working.  Taking the ideas of plein air and the self-lead residencies that Russian artists of the 19th century created for themselves by going to the countryside for the summer months, this series of sketches will be carried out during camping trips in 2021. The activity of going away to a wild nature is something that I experienced all my childhood.

I am constantly in the process of developing a kit, a set of materials and tools that I carry with me. The use of a variety of shapes and textures draw from open-ended toys and games for children, including the techniques and the aesthetics of Waldorf toys.

This project is about how we view and see the world around us. I investigate the ways we observe our environment. This is why they are called sketchbooks, as means to record quickly and boldly our environment, or contemplatively and slowly the images in our mind. These books reference guide books of places of local and historical importance. I have a collection of these and have always been drawn to them. This is a way we collect and document what is considered important about a place.

Venäjän tiede- ja kulttuurikeskus, Helsinki, Fabric book workshop with young people, 2017