N E W S
ARTIST FEATURE - Irina Laaja
Photo: Heidrun Holzfind
Our first stop on showing our gallery artists ongoing practices during these extraordinary times is IRINA LAAJA (b. 1989, Finland) and her two self portraits:
• I wanted to be a monument but I guess I’m just a body (2020) 97x95x180 cm, #photography #digitalprint on eco-cotton, polyester filling , thread.
• Fourteen parts of me (2020)
173x74x43 cm, #kombucha #scoby line thread, steal.
This project is part of Laaja's masters-exam and was suppose to be exhibited at Bildmuseet in Umeå but due to covid 19 it will be shown online instead.
- I’m trying to not try to be perfect. For me, an unevenly hand sewn lump is a bold and almost rebellious move. A rebellious move against my own brain that I of course understand nobody else would notice. Before studying towards being an artist, I studied and worked with Fashion Design. During the classes in sewing, we did countless amounts of exercises in sewing details. Zippers, front pockets, back pockets, pockets for jeans, pockets for suits, collars, buttons, hems on skirts etc. Attention to details was important and every millimetre counted. When I had anorexia, I counted everything. Centilitres, grams, calories, in how many slices can I cut this apple. I counted millimetres, centimetres, grams, kilos, kilos, kilometres of walking and running
and hours of not eating. I still try not to count.
I had an idea about creating a monument. I think I wanted to finish this Master program with a grand finale, and what better way than to create a statue of myself?
What is a body? How do we relate to our own, and those of others? The body represents such an obvious, straightforward, physical part of ourselves, yet is also the holder of so many systems, symbols, emotions, opinions etc. being one of the most emotionally and politically charged themes within society and culture.
/Excerpt from Irina Laajas Master Essay - read the full version on her artist page!
G A L L E R I M A J K E N S