Hertta Kiiski: Primavera
30 Mar – 20 May 2012
Every year, a graduate from the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences holds his/her graduation show in the Studio at Turku Art Museum. This year the Turku Art Museum chose from among the graduates the photographer Hertta Kiiski (b. 1973). Entitled Primavera, Kiiski’s exhibition features live plants on the window sills of the Studio, their bright green leaves reaching towards the sun. In the photographs, the artist explores her own living environment. By turning the lens of the camera on her own daughters, the artist reveals the complex of emotions associated with growing up. Growing is unavoidably also a process of letting go.

The title of the exhibition refers to the famous painting Spring (La Primavera, 1478) by the Italian master Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510). The mysterious work has preoccupied the human mind throughout the ages. Kiiski too has engaged with the painting, which appears as a small unfinished jigsaw puzzle in one of her photos. Nature and flowers have a strong presence in Kiiski’s photographs, just as they do in the Botticelli’s painting. They can be seen as decorative patterns and pretty backgrounds, but just as well they can convey metaphoric messages through their strong colours. The magic and mystery of spring speak to each viewer in a different way.

In spite of their mysteriousness, the mood in Hertta Kiiski’s photographs is warm and trustful. The works are sensitive, yet intense as well, inviting the viewer to linger. The depicted situations are taken from the artist’s everyday surroundings. In the actual shooting situation, she sometimes adjusts the daughters’ poses slightly, or the daughters make their own suggestions, making the pictures the result of a collaboration. The still lifes captured on film are also taken from the artist’s daily life, although she may rearrange the objects for a long time before the composition is ready to be photographed.

On one wall of the Studio are two portraits of the artist’s daughters. In them, the children are looking at their mother’s exhibition, the very pictures in which they themselves appear. Primavera is also a kind of self-portrait of the artist, who has captured the most important things and thoughts of her life into these very evocative, emotional photographs.

MEETING WITH THE ARTIST
: On Saturday 21 April 2012 from 2pm Hertta Kiiski will present her exhibition Primavera to the audience and tell about her practice in Finnish in the Turku Art Museum Studio.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2014