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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland

artist-in-residence 2010-2011


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  • artist-in-residence 2010-2011

  • I have very recently graduated from Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland, where I studies printmaking. Before my printmaking course I studied fine art in Glasgow, and even before that History of Art at the University of Helsinki. The images that I sent you as part of my application were all from my recent Degree Show, titled 'World Destroyer'. In my degree show pieces I explored imaginary cityscapes, chaotic but cute. I created an entire world that took inspiration from Japanese arcades and videogames, old Nintendo imagery and also contemporary artists such as Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Aya Takano, Ilja Karsikas, Katja Tukiainen and Chiho Aoshima (and many others). I created a big wall painting as well as traditional prints. M intention was for people to be able to walk into my degree show space and imagine/pretend they are not in Aberdeen at all, but instead a space version of 80s Japan, filled with intergalactic space destroyers and panda-shaped killing machines.

    Japan is a big influence in my work not so much because of the place itself, but because of the Japanese preoccupation with all things cute and childlike, what the Japanese call 'kawaii'. This same childlike aesthetic is also prevalent in the art of contemporary Finnish artists, illustrators and cartoonists and thus a great influence in my art. However, my work is about non-existing places, not Japan or anywhere else specific. I want to challenge my viewers to incorporate their knowledge and memories in order to read images of things and places that don't exist. To do this, I want to use imagery and patterns from things that do exist (and reflect my background as well) and create something new and almost surreal from these existing patterns: Scandinavian tradition, archaeological finds, patterns from Greek pottery etc. (I am half Finnish, half Greek, and have spent many years in Scotland - very international!)

    I am interested in traveling as a theme, the journey, which I have used previously to represent new experiences. Previously I have created 'travelogues', visual records of places I have visited, and how these places have shaped me as a person. In the future I want to expand on this and create new places and worlds that do not exist. Also, space travel as an addition to this idea of travelling, is also part of the Japanese (and Western, too, for example superhero-comics) pop idea, bending space and time is a big part of manga and popular culture in general.

    Narratives and visual sequences are also very important to me, how we read narrative sequences and how time is portrayed in these sequences of images. So my prints (and the rest of my work) generally form a linear narrative, meant to be read as a sequence. Even if the prints are not directly corresponding to the story, the story is still there as a starting point. In a way, my work almost reads as illustrations to the story that is the base of my work, even though I do view my work as fine art prints and not illustrations. However, I am less keen to make a distinction between popular culture and fine art, or fine art and illustration and comics, for example, than some other artists. At some point, I was hoping to incorporate animation into my work, making these sequences more obvious - at this stage, however, I am more interested in breaking down the story into panels, into various prints that will eventually come together as a whole. I want to produce a body of work, that will form one piece, in a way. All the panels coming together as one piece.

    During the residency, I would like to expand on this idea of narrative sequence as telling a specific story - however, although I do have several ideas as to what that story might be, my work generally tends to be a response to my surroundings, so the residency will form the story. A story about the protagonist coming back home after years of traveling the world, perhaps? Some sort of personal Odyssey, maybe. However, I have already started feeling my influences shifting from space age Japan and glam-rock more towards New Orleans smoky jazz bars and Chartreuse on the one hand, and getting lost in Finnish forests on the other. Searching for solitude to an extent, perhaps.



    matthew 2

    aeros 2

    echo 2

    Visit also the web pages from Tessa Androutsopoulos

    Copyright images Tessa Androutsopoulos

    Arts Council Finland
    AllaprimA foundation the Netherlands
    AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry

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