Hanna Seppänen: Trace
3 Feb – 25 Mar 2012
Artist Hanna Seppänen (b. 1983) worked from 2009 to 2011 on a scholarship at the Henry Lönnfors Studio run by the Turku Art Society. In accordance with the last will and testament of the society's long-term treasurer Henry Lönnfors (1939–2004), the Turku Art Society founded in 2004 an artist's studio bearing Lönnfors' name. The attic studio is located in Albatross, an Art Nouveau building next to the Puolalanpuisto park. Use of the studio is given for three years at a time to an artist selected on the basis of applications. The current holder of the Henry Lönnfors Studio scholarship is visual artist Erkki Nampajärvi (b. 1982).

In February–March, the Studio at the Turku Art Museum presents an exhibition of recent work by Hanna Seppänen under the title Trace. Seppänen graduated from the Arts Academy of the Turku Polytechnic (Drawing School of Turku) in 2008. Her medium throughout her career has been charcoal on large-format paper. The drawings in Trace depict children, and especially memories of childhood. Executed with consummate skill, the pictures capture a specific moment, a childhood memory, and a mood that is easy to identify with.

The children in Hanna Seppänen's drawings appear very pale against the dark background. They are often depicted in natural surroundings, which the artist likens to the subconscious mind. In the work On the Shore, we see a girl standing in the water. Although she is surrounded by a familiar shoreline landscape, uncertainty and fear gnaw at her mind. She is in control of the landscape, although the expression on her face reveals the inherent threat in the landscape. The unknown often seems scary. Cache shows a boy digging a hole. Is he going to bury something, or about to find something? The small girl lugging a doll in Mother also seems to have something to hide. The children in the drawings are totally immersed in their own private world, yet they seem too small to carry a heavy burden. There are secrets in the air, but also a sense of searching. The mood in the works changes as soon as the children share their experiences. The girl in The Finders holds a lost dog in her arms. The boy's hand is barely touching its paw. The dog's alert expression attests to the transitoriness of the moment. In Hiding Place the girls share a secret. The air seems alive with tension. The traces of childhood memories are mysterious and sensitive, but also reserved and anxious. The body is brimming with a powerful sensation that can change in a moment.

MEET THE ARTIST: On Saturday 3 March 2012 from 2pm Hanna Seppänen will present her exhibition Traces to the audience and speak about her practice in Finnish at the Studio in the Turku Art Museum.

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