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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

At the beginning I need an inspiration, a spark to create new. During the work, whether it was drawing, printmaking, sculpture or other, works seem to find their own world. Only after the work or exhibition is finished, reveals what it was all about. This is how the story of the mystical island of adventures was also born.

The Sailor, the sea and freedom in his heart, and always a new different day on his voyage, takes us with his ship Haavruuva to Medusa, Poseidon, and to Naisen syli (a woman’s lap), which gives birth to something new every moment. During his voyage he meets the powerful Centurion, the handsome Narcissus, the frightening Centaurs, the fancy and bold Matador, the seducing Sirens, and the lovely but touching Dancer, her by dancing blood-red dyed boots reaching almost her waist. He faces Death eye to eye, who in its wisdom brings rebirth to the Red turtle in front of the borderless love, when the turtle turns to a human and back to a turtle.

During the past year I have been drawing croquis on a weekly basis. Looking at my drawings I found the models’ unique characteristics which woke in me the desire to work with them further, with plaster modelling. I wished to do more than printmaking and drawing, something three-dimensional, an installation. I chose plaster as my main material as, in its simplicity, it offers me a direct means of expression. The plaster is enhanced with color pigments in all their purity. Working with models has been an intense process and the energy level exceeded hundred percent when I started. My sense of time, hunger and thirst disappeared. I could not stop working when the plaster would harden and the work needed to get done.

The theme of the exhibition, Avalon, refers to the mythical power figures and the island of adventures. It opens up my journey to the pain in the souls of the figures. The pain offers a way to love, comfort and freedom, bringing empowerment through working.

One of the works, the Red Turtle, was inspired by the shell of a giant turtle, washed ashore on the Comoro islands. Another source of inspiration for the same work was a movie with the same name (Studio Ghibli, 2016), a story which is about love that is larger than life. It is something that transforms us and something we search for when we want our lives to grow. Another animal had also washed ashore on the same Comoros. It was a giant fish about three meters long, thick and spotted and had very big, sharp teeth. Its mouth was enormous and looking dangerous. It represented the dark side of life. The giant waves threw me off the rocks into the ocean and then back. The coral reef ripped my back, still by wonder I was alive.

The photo on the invitation was taken on the mysterious Susisaari island, which is part of the Suomenlinna sea fortress in Helsinki, where I took my yet unfinished sculptures that I needed to be worked on during this unusual spring. I was inspired by the island’s unpredictable weather and unique beauty that is at times radiantly exciting. I was familiar with the location as it is where I created my first landscape oil painting, at the age of 16, attending a qualifying course of the Academy of Fine Arts. I returned to a place of my primal force. This artistic adventure of mine has been enchanted, wonderful and necessary, and I felt that no other way was possible.

I have studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and in École des Beaux Arts in Paris. My works have been on display at Art Center Salmela, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Forum Box, Gallery Duetto, Gallery of the Association of Finnish Printmakers, Purnu Art Center, Retretti Art Center, several exhibitions of Himmelblau Printmaking Studio, and furthermore outside of Finland in Germany, Mexico, Gotland, Öland, Italy, France and Japan. I have worked in Finland, Germany, France and Italy, presently working at my atelier at Vallila Studio Center. My works are in the following collections: Finnish State Art Deposit Collection, the art museums of Helsinki, Kuopio, Rovaniemi, Aine / Tornio, Oulu and Tampere, and Tampere city collection, Aga Art Association, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Finnish Art Society, Jämtlands Landsting, Landstinget Kronoberg, ARE Oy, Orion, Metra, Majvik.

I want to thank the Arts Promotion Center Finland for the COVID-19 grant, as well as my beloved family and wonderful fellow artists at the studio and elsewhere, for their support during this unusual period of uncertainty.

Beata Joutsen
beata.joutsen(a)gmail.com
044 230 8347
www.beatajoutsen.com

Gallery name: Galleria Huuto

Address: Eerikinkatu 36 / Kalevankatu 43, Helsinki

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12:00 - 17:00

Open: 24.07.2020 - 16.08.2020