Originally, the idea of a home exhibition came to me through a sequence of happy coincidences, like good things usually do. I have had conversations with artist friends of mine about what could be ways of showing art in a different and more intimate environment than a gallery — in a space that would make approaching art relaxed and friendly. But to find those interesting places — needless to say, the feel and location of the space is key — that are inexpensive and easy to manage, is difficult. Therefore, my own home seemed like a manageable and user-friendly solution for a project that I want create memorable encounters between people and art. The second home exhibition Sensual Closeness took place between May 16th - June 16th, 2019.
I find it interesting to create something that feels needed to balance out, even if it on a small scale, disharmonies of societal trends. I have been interested in the anatomy of human connection lately, and when I stumbled upon an old article describing Heli Hiltunen’s work as being about sensual closeness, I knew that would be the theme of the exhibition. Closeness and sensuality feels relevant in today’s fast paced and achievement oriented, online-world. So, with Sensual Closeness, I want to put our senses into focus. Dropping back into our bodies and tuning into our senses is a subject that is soft and intimate, obscure yet titillating. It asks for corporality and presence. It asks for a dialogue with our sensations and a nonjudgmental mind.
Again, serendipity played its part in the unfolding of events that led to Sensual Closeness: I bumped into the artist Heli Hiltunen in the middle of an opening at the Museum of Photography last year and she said “why don’t you have an exhibition again next May in your apartment — it was so lovely and light and joyful”. Who could resist such a compliment? I decided then and there that I was going to curate a follow-up exhibition with a different group of artists, of whom Heli Hiltunen is one, accompanied by painters Aki Turunen, Milla Aska, Emma Luukkala, Emily Gernild; photographer Anni Leppälä; and sculptors Maisa Majakka and Tommi Toija. A group of artists of different generation and techniques interconnected by an interest for themes around the human experience and a sensitive and sensual way of handling their preferred material.
I work from my heart with my heart — I want to bring presence, love and openness to everything I do. Physicality, humanity, the everyday, independent versus interdependent, courage versus sensitivity and the energetic quality of something experienced, are things that have been on my mind lately. How do we navigate in a world that ask so much of us; we are supposed to fill so many roles, while also being our own superheroes. We are raised to become achievers, but who teaches us to listen to ourselves, to nourish our feelings and take care of ourselves; not to be overtly in our heads and forgetting that it our connection with our senses that enables us to really experience life fully. When the beliefs and values of religion doesn’t resonate anymore, where do we find a community to support, or thoughts to draw hope and solace from? Is it nature, is it art, is it a new spiritual dimension? One thing I do know that through art, new ways of seeing are born. Art is the conscious application of imagination, skill and human creativity that is expanding, beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. Sensual Closeness is my ode to pleasure, beauty and approaching life like an artistic practice — consciously attuned to one’s senses and heart, connecting and creating from a space of openness and integrity.
The exhibition Sensual Closeness is open from May 16th - June 16th, 2019 on Wednesdays from 16-20 and Sundays from 12-16, and by appointment.