Exhibition: Roots

Gallery Hanaholmen

2.3 - 28.5.2023

The gallery is open daily from 10 to 20, free entrance.

Leena Kouhia
Réka Király
Tapani Rinne and Juha Mäki-Patola
Anna Järvinen

Roots is an exhibition and installation by five artists, all working with different materials. The exhibition combines artists Leena Kouhia’s ceramic works and Réka Király’s ink paintings with a soundscape created by composers and musicians Tapani Rinne and Juha Mäki-Patola, with texts written and read by musician and writer Anna Järvinen.

In the exhibition, the artists reflect on roots and rootlessness. They ask questions and provoke the viewer. What are our roots, where do we come from and how did we get here? Has our freedom to move around affected our rootedness in society? Do we still have roots, and if so, where? How can we preserve them, and when it comes down to it – do we actually need our roots?

Réka Király moved to Finland from Hungary 20 years ago and feels constantly thorn between two countries. The long, lost contact with her country of birth does not automatically create a sense of anchoring or belonging in Finland. Leena Kouhia was born in Pori and lives in Helsinki, but at the same time feels that she doesn’t really belong anywhere. Her family belonged to the evacuated Karelians and returning Ingrian Finns, whose family roots were shattered and lost because of the wars. Anna Järvinen moved to Sweden as a child with her parents. Her relationship with her roots has changed over time, and today she feels that it mainly is something found in her genes. In contrast, Tapani Rinne knows his family roots throughout. His ancestors and relatives have lived in the same areas and even on the same farms in Satakunta for several generations. He knows where he comes from, and in this dialogue, he is the counterbalance to the experiences of the rest of the group. Mäki-Patola’s family has moved from the countryside to the city, and so the contact to his ancestors is broken. Having moved away from and thus lost his roots and his place of origin, they don’t feel very important to him either.

The artists have discussed what their process of finding their roots has been like. By acknowledging their rootlessness and working around this theme through their artistic work, they have created an imaginary world that has helped them in their search. The exhibition combines not only the materials they use, but also a sense of their own roots – anchored in their art. The installation consists of a large table that is set, which shows the concrete results of their search. The works on display here are created by Kouhia and Király both individually and in collaboration. At the same time, the viewer is greeted by a soundscape, consisting of tunes and texts that fill the gallery. The installation is like a large-scale puzzle that hopefully will initiate a conversation about roots and their significance.

More information: Programme Coordinator Aino Kostiainen, aino.kostiainen(at)hanaholmen.fi