Anna-Maija Aarras
Anna-Maija Aarras
10 Jun – 4 Sep 2011

The exhibition series in the Studio showcasing artists from Turku continues in the summer with Citations by Anna-Maija Aarras (b. 1948). Aarras is famous for extremely subtle artworks that seduce the viewer with a highly symbiotic combination of materials, colours and manual skill. Studio presents new, earthy works made specifically for this exhibition, pieces with a silk surface that catches the light. In addition to an aesthetically impeccable form, Aarras' works are often endowed also with a slightly playful tone. With passion and an eye for detail, she studies her themes as well as the textile working methods of different cultures. Aarras was elected the Textile Artist of the Year in 1995 by the Finnish Association of Textile Artists TEXO for her boldly pioneering work in textile art.

Anna-Maija Aarras is very familiar with the Turku Art Museum. It was here she saw the first art exhibitions in her childhood, and in 1995 her work was presented here in an extensive show entitled Nostalgia – Anna-Maija Aarras in the Limelight. Citations in the Studio continues the same solemn mood.

The dark and stately Sarcophagi (2011) are arresting. Each one is coated with silk velvet in a different hue of dark green. Next to the sarcophagi, the viewer cannot but feel respect for the distant and the unknown. The works seem to carry some secret within them, yet each one has a distinct persona of its own.

Where the velvet on the attractive Sarcophagi absorbs light, light is reflected by The Wave (2011), which is embroidered with small stitches sewn with yellow silk thread. The Wave glimmers, adapting to the ambient light. It is a detail lifted from some large body of water, seeming to contain the eternal motion of the world's waters.

Turban (2011) is made of cotton cloth with a floral pattern on red ground. What people wear on their head has a powerful defining effect. Anna-Maija Aarras is particularly interested in ritual clothing. A few years ago she studied traditional kimono decoration, patterns and sewing in Japan. Aarras has also created many church textiles, the largest piece being in the church in Ini.

Anna-Maija Aarras has always found inspiration in nature. She often employs not only the forms, but also the motifs offered by nature. Citations presents quiet and delicate landscape images under the heading Pleated (2011), where a distant landscape has been drawn on pure white.

Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2014