Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eyes as Big as Plates exhibit opens at Finlandia University Gallery: Reception Sept. 24

 
Artists Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth’s Lautasen Kokoiset Silmät: Eyes as Big as Plates exhibit is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, Hancock, through October 17, 2015.

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, with an artist talk by Riitta Ikonen beginning at 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Eyes as Big as Plates is an ongoing collaborative venture by Riitta Ikonen (Finland) and Karoline Hjorth (Norway). Inspired by characters from Nordic folklore and personifications of nature, the project has evolved into a continual search for modern humans' belonging to nature. Since 2011 the artists have collaborated with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, academics and 90-year old parachutists from Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Japan. The artists will expand the project to Greenland in October, 2015.

#Pupi, 2012. Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

"Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place," note Ikonen and Hjorth. "Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists."

Agnes_i. Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

"As active participants in our contemporary society, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labeled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché," continue the artists. "It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong."

Originally from Finland, Ikonen completed her BA at the University of Brighton and MA at the Royal College of Art, London. She was nominated for Ars Fennica, Finland’s biggest art prize, in 2014 and exhibits, lectures and performs internationally. Her recent works have been in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, London 2012 Olympic Park, Victoria and Albert Museum, Photographer's Gallery and Gulbenkian Foundation. With support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, she works from both Finland and New York.*

Karoline Hjorth is a Norwegian photographer, artist and writer. She completed her MA at the University of Westminster (London) in 2009 and is currently based in Oslo. Her photographic work has received the Deloitte Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London and has been exhibited and published internationally. Her first book,  Mormormonologene (Nana Monologues) was published in 2011 with a second edition in 2012. She is currently working towards an international book publication of Eyes as Big as Plates in collaboration with Riitta Ikonen, along with the production of new works and exhibitions.**

Eyes as Big as Plates is currently touring with the Norwegian National Museum and has previously been shown at Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works (NYC), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Tetley Brewery (Leeds), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Villa Borghese (Rome), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Nebraska US), the Ars Fennica exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma, Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, among others.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St., downtown Hancock. For more information, contact the Finlandia University Gallery at 906-487-7500.

* Learn more about Ikonen at riittaikonen.com.

** Learn more about Hjorth at karolinehjorth.wordpress.com.

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