NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Liisa Kuusela & Meri Hallenberg ''Colossal'' is now opet at Galleria Huuto

“Hi Meri, today I thought about my childhood mountain, the artificial hill made of waste in Malminkartano. It was the best place for sledding and it had a long set of stairs that fitness enthusiasts ran up and down. When I was a teenager, I would often climb up the hill and look at the woods far away. Maybe I could even see the sea from up there. The hill came to my mind as you have talked about earthmoving and mountains that are being moved in California to make space for housing. In some places they move mountains to make space for housing and in some places they make hills of waste to create recreational areas.” – Liisa

“Hi Liisa, we did not have a big sledding hill near my home, but there was a legendary ice hill in the school yard – the steepest hill I had seen. There was often frozen blood on the ice as kids hit their noses and lips on the hard surface. But now that you mentioned these artificial hills on the outskirts of suburbs, I remember that there were many of them. I wonder if they still exist. They are wasteland, right?” – Meri

“Hi Meri, mountains have been important in wars. When you are on the top of a mountain, you can see if the enemy is coming. Hmm… Hannibal’s war elephant crossing the Alps also interests me. The Natural History Museum had reconstructed mammoths. I could draw them and use the drawings as a starting point. I would like to paint a melancholic elephant with jewelry around its neck.” – Liisa

“Hi Liisa, a melancholic war elephant definitely sounds like something worth painting. When you lived in Italy, did you ever see the marble quarries on the sides of mountains? I have looked at photos of the Carrara quarries and drawn pictures of them. In the photographs, the machines quarrying marble look very small and modest, like ants on hot, light-colored pavement. For me, penetrating into a mountain feels kind of violent. When I look at the photos of the Carrara mountains, they remind me of an open wound with broken skin and guts showing. In Japan, mountains look the same after landslides, soil running down the slope like blood.” – Meri

“Hi Meri, I don’t remember seeing any marble quarries. It would be exciting to see them! Once I was walking in Punavuori and happened to see a decorative painter working on a pink marble facade. He told me that the sixteenth layer was now drying and soon the facade would be completed.” – Liisa

Colossal is Meri Hallenberg and Liisa Kuusela’s project that deals with one’s longing to be in the mountains. The two artists graduated from the Free Art School in 2019 and since then have continued their collaboration. Hallenberg is currently studying at the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Kuusela works in Helsinki.

The exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (Aino and Einari Haaki Fund).

Gallery name: Galleria Huuto

Address: Eerikinkatu 36 / Kalevankatu 43, Helsinki

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

Open: 25.06.2021 - 18.07.2021