TOPI RUOTSALAINENHoliday, another day 3.5.2016 – 22.5.2016

All play and no work, 2015
oil on canvas
145 x 191 cm


My exhibition draws inspiration from everyday life, as it is lived today. I have gone on the search for fleeting meanings, tiny cracks, brief glimpses of light amidst all the grey ordinariness. My paintings depict isolated jolts of emotion of varying intensity - small bursts and ruptures of joy, sorrow and wonder in a world where an undertow of gloom, which until now remained in the background, appears to have emerged onto the surface.

In addition to everyday scenes, my works are also concerned with special occasions, the moments that seek to distinguish themselves from the mundane, the ordinary, the workaday and yet never quite seem to manage it. The reasons we mark and celebrate our special occasions in the first place have also become hidden, invisible. Our highdays and holidays are just days like any other. The special, the sacred, the divine experiences reside in a different sphere altogether. The foundations that sustain my own life, my home, my work, my beliefs, my country, have borne the brunt of this, too. My life may be mundane but I own that mundanity. Leave it alone!

These days, my everyday contains lots of play. Since becoming a father, my weekly schedule has been punctuated by visits to parks and soft plays. My daily life remains humdrum, ordinary, unexceptional and yet it is now fundamentally more rewarding. You look at the world very differently with a small child by your side. For children, everything is new, interesting, a challenge. Their attitude is invariably open, often enthusiastic. I am enjoying being in the moment, having the opportunity to view the world together, through the eyes of a child. And yet, ever-present, is a sense of loss and of nostalgia. I am painfully aware that everything will come to an end: my child´s childhood, my own childhood, my fatherhood, the childhood and parenthood of my parents and their parents - the steady shift and flux of our lives and our roles.

If my previous works have been gentle attempts at exploring some existential questions, the arrival of my child has opened up a whole new, infinite dimension to this pursuit. In the face of the utter vastness that now opens up before me, I plan to continue my attempts to scratch away, ever so lightly, at the surface of life´s sheer wonder. In fact, this is the very definition of my artistic practice; an attempt to reach for the otherwise unreachable.

Topi Ruotsalainen

The exhibition title Pyhä, arki (Holiday, another day) is borrowed from Antti Rautava´s short film 2006.

The exhibition features augmented reality. I would like to thank Robust North for their collaboration.

Arilyn augmented reality

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_This_is_how_we_roll_oljy_kankaalle_145x110cm_2016

    This is how we roll, 2016
    oil on canvas
    145 x 110 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Gallows_2016_oljy_kankaalle_77x107cm_web

    Gallows, 2016
    oil on canvas
    77 x 107 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Kruunu_oljy_kankaalle_77x107cm_2016_web

    Crown, 2016
    oil on canvas
    77 x 107 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_My_Home_is_my_Castle_2016_oljy_ja_akryyli_kankaalle_145x145cm

    My Home is my Castle, 2016
    oil and acrylic on canvas
    145 x 145 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Haaste_2016_oljy_kankaalle_67x87cm

    Challenge, 2016
    oil on canvas
    67 x 87 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Any_given_character_oljy_kankaalle_60x60_2016_web

    Any given character, 2016
    oil on canvas
    60 x 60 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/TOPI_RUOTSALAINEN_KEINU_UUSI

    Swing, 2016
    145 x 110 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Lautalla_oljy_kankaalle_200x265cm_2016_web

    On a raft, 2016
    oil on canvas
    200 x 265

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Paremmuusjarjestys_oljy_kankaalle_2016_web

    The Best in Line, 2016
    oil on canvas
    50 x 115 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Aijaparkki_2016_oljy_ja_akryyli_kankaalle_225x200cm_ja_augmented_reality

    Äijäparkki, 2016
    oil and acrylic on canvas
    225 x 200 cm + augmented reality

  • ruotsalainen/2016/TOPI_RUOTSALAINEN_Valmistuminen-2015-oljy-mdf_levylle-38x50cm_web

    Graduation, 2015
    oil on canvas
    38 x 50 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/TOPI_RUOTSALAINEN_Herrasvaki-juhlissa-2015-oljy-kovalevylle-38x50cmweb

    Gentry at a party, 2015
    oil on board
    38 x 50 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_No_onkos_tullut_2016_Oil_on_canvas_123x200cm_medium

    Oh has the Summer come, 2016
    oil on canvas
    123 x 200 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Lampaan_luontoiset_oljy_kankaalle_135x240cm_2016

    Natured like sheep, 2016
    oil on canvas
    135 x 250 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Saunan_taakse_2016_oljy_kankaalle_200x150cm

    Behind the sauna, 2016
    oil on canvas
    200 x 150 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Haavoittunut_koululainen_2015_Oil_on_canvas_120x140cm_medium

    Wounded pupil, 2015
    oil on canvas
    120 x 140 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/TOPI_RUOTSALAINEN_Mind_was_blank_oljy_kankaalle_204x118cm_2014_web

    Mind was blank, 2014
    oil on canvas
    204 x 118 cm

  • ruotsalainen/2016/Topi_Ruotsalainen_Jouluolut_oljy_mdf_levylle_38x50cm_ja_augmented_reality_2016

    Christmas beer, 2016
    oil on board
    38 x 50 cm + augmented reality

  • ruotsalainen/2016/TOPI_RUOTSALAINEN_Flying_fishcock_38x50cm_2015_web

    Flying Fishcock
    oil on canvas
    38 x 50 cm +augmented reality