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Aura Latva-Somppi

"Working around arts and design, I like to address modern phenomenas and everyday life through art. I view the world and work from the perspective of my very own. I think a good artwork is like a fine pop song - somewhat relatable but gives you a new kind of energy and perspective."

Aura Latva-Somppi, Maratoonimuki -series, porcelain, glaze, 2019

What is the story behind the Marathon Mug piece?

The Marathon Mug was born in Kyoto, the cradle of pedantically traditional handmade ceramics. This work is a giggly protest against the black-and-white distinction between crafts, design and art. Its shape was inspired by the wrist bottle worn by runners. The combination of this kind of trendy water bottle with traditional porcelain unites two worlds; sexy extreme sports and everyday weekday mornings. Marathon Mug elevates its users into champions who are running races of their own kind.

What are you into?

I am into going to places and learning. I need movement and social contacts and therefore I really like bicycling and going to school. I get most excited about ceramics and whenever I am in the beginning of a creative process and everything is still possible. I also get excited about horses, picking mushrooms, dancing and almost everything during summertime.

Where do you work and what kind of a place is it to you?

Currently I am in the middle of my masters studies in Aalto ARTS department of Design, and I mostly work in the workshops there. Nevertheless, during pandemic era I have had to rethink my studio and it has situated mostly in my tiny apartment and the garden of my childhood home. One night in June I woke up to heavy rain and thunder and begun to run around naked in the garden carrying inside all the clay sculptures and tools that I had carelessly left there overnight. Thus now my studio seems to be wherever I decide. I am dreaming of my own studio where I could make a huge mess, play disco music and brew coffee for friends.

The Flat Tire-series of which Flat Tire 8 is exhibited in Unraveling channels the frustration caused by getting a flat tire. A tire goes flat whenever you want it to the least, and you have to find a way to fix it one way or another. It makes one value continuing the journey in a new way. Sculptures imitate a tire misshapen. It is claimed to be a flat tire but still it stands up proudly, showing off itself. For me the sculpture symbolises the value of imperfection and coping with difficulties.

What have been important steps and happenings in your life and artistic path so far?

Getting into ceramics changed my artistic practice for good. It is exciting, sufficiently practical, eventful and in the best possible way I feel like an eternal amateur.

Do you have any specific people or artists who have influenced your way of doing and seeing things in life and in your artistry?

My friends inspire me everyday and in everything I do - the way I see them reach out and grow in the most peculiar and fantastic ways. Watching them work makes me understand how good things must be done in an unprejudiced way with honesty and heartily. Today I have been inspired by the energy of poet Elsa Tölli and the boogie of Linkopii.

What would you do if you wouldn't make art?

My childhood dream job was to be a disco dancer, so maybe that, or to work at a construction site.

What do you dream about right now?

I am dreaming of a big house in the countryside. There would be a huge garden with some apple trees, an old donkey and ducks running around. I would have a big studio across the yard, a pickup truck, a house full of sculptures and an opportunity to go swim in a lake every morning...

Aura Latva-Somppi, Maratoonimuki -series, porcelain, glaze, 2019

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