HENNA POHJOLAHave a burp!

HENNA POHJOLA

The works in this exhibition take their cue from lust. Lust is a source of enjoyment, energy and meaning in our lives. Traditionally, it was considered one of the seven deadly sins. In my works I also explore the sheer lunacy of being an artist. The majority of artists exist below the poverty line or hold down additional jobs to fund their creative pursuits. What happens to professional pride when a not insignificant chunk of your energy is wasted on just making ends meet? These two issues intertwine with the controversial issue of commercialisation in art and the question of what can be considered art.

These questions reflect the overarching theme of this exhibition, lust. Visually, all the works on display are kitchily sweet and saccharine. You could say that they look "good enough to eat". They have been inspired by the experiences I have gained while working in jobs other than those traditionally considered the work of a professional artist. I have variously been employed as a graphic designer, visual merchandiser, stylist, florist, party planner and baker. This exhibition comprises a variety of techniques: painting, printing, drawing, sculpture as well as a monumental cake installation in the shape of a house.

The cake house installation I have baked lends itself to a variety of interpretations. The house is intended to delight the viewer with its beauty but also to act as a catalyst for debate on issues such as equality, the value of work, gender and identity formation and the many conventions governing it. For me, the house is also associated with the story of Hansel and Gretel by the Grimm brothers. In the tale, the children´s stepmother, fearing death by starvation, convinces their father to take Hansel and Gretel to the forest and to abandon them there. As Hansel and Gretel wander through the forest, they discover a gingerbread house, inhabited by a wicked witch. The cake installation raises a number of social issues. What lurks underneath the flawless surface? In the face of a weakening economy, as some people are forced to give up their status symbols and others a plunged into misery, we have to ask, what is it that makes us happy? Importantly, at the end of the tale, good triumphs over evil. In that sense, the installation can be seen as a home, as a castle, where people live, bake more cakes, and share in the success and sense of security it engenders.

The title of the exhibition, Rööhtäse välillä is a Savo dialect expression from eastern Finland literally meaning "have a burp". It is an exhortation to focus on your dreams and aspirations. On the other hand, it also represents an escape, in my subjective experience, from the depressive and gloomy tendencies associated with the process of making art. Have a burp is an invitation to fun, good times and pampering.

The dazzling Arja Saijonmaa will be performing chanson and tango at the exhibition launch, accompanied by Mikko Helenius on accordion and bandoneon.

Henna Pohjola

 
  • pohjola/2013/Happy_Birthday_I_p

    Happy Birthday! I, 2013
    litography, acrylic compound, polyurethane, lights and mixed media on board
    114 x 60 x 17 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Happy_Birthday_II_p

    Happy Birthday! II, 2013
    litography, acrylic compound and mixed media on board
    147 x 60 x 9 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Happy_Birthday_III_p

    Happy Birthday! III, 2013
    litography, acrylic compound and mixed media on board
    87 x 60 x 9 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Happy_Birthday_IV_p

    Happy Birthday! IV, 2013
    litography, acrylic compound and mixed media on board
    86 x 60 x 9 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Hoponassu_p

    Snuggle bear, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Noponassu_p

    Cuddle bear, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Sulo_p

    Sulo, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Uups_p

    Oops!, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Namu_p

    Namu, 2013
    acrylic and silicone on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Yummy_I_p

    Yummy I, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Yummy_II_p

    Yummy II, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Kulta_p

    Kulta, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    39 x 50 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Joyful_Warrior_I_p

    Joyful Warrior I, 2008-2013
    pencil, acrylic, polyurethane and acrylic compound on board
    245 x 123 x 20 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Joyful_Warrior_II_p

    Joyful Warrior II, 2008-2013
    pencil, varnish and acrylic compound on board
    245 x 123 x 10 cm

  • pohjola/2013/For_Us_p

    For us, 2013
    installation

  • pohjola/2013/Foru_Us_yksityis

    For us (detail), 2013
    installation

  • pohjola/2013/Marryme_p

    Marry me!, 2013
    concrete casting, acrylic compound, mixed media
    100 x 31 x 31 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Congratulations_well_done_p

    Congratulations, well done!, 2013
    concrete casting, acrylic compound, mixed media
    87 x 25 x 25 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Lucky

    Lucky, 2013
    concrete casting, acrylic compound, polyurethane, mixed media
    59 x 31 x 31 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Afternoon_Delights_p

    Afternoon Delights, 2013
    concrete casting, acrylic compound, mixed media
    65 x 24 x 24 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Special_chocolate_p

    Special chocolate, 2013
    concrete casting, acrylic compound, mixed media
    73 x 18 x 18 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Hello_p

    Hello, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    174 x 154 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Daydream_p

    Daydream, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    145 x 174 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Iloveyou_p

    I Love You, 2013
    acrylic and acrylic compound on canvas
    145 x 174 cm

  • pohjola/2013/Makea_elama_yleis

    Sweet Life, 2013
    installation

  • pohjola/2013/Makea_elama_yksityis1

    Sweet Life (detail), 2013
    installation

  • pohjola/2013/Makea_elama_yksityis2

    Sweet life (detail), 2013
    installation

  • pohjola/2013/Makea_elama_p

    Sweet Life (detail), 2013
    installation

 
 
 
 
 
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