Lovely to spend a moment with you.
Could you tell us a bit about you as a person and as an artist?
I am an aesthetic mind who finds it difficult to distinguish art and life. I am attracted to subtle and soft ideas – and all kinds of clouds. I become enthusiastic easily so I always end up working with many subjects, materials and questions at the same time. In my studio, everything is interconnected.
Your current artwork explores climate change. Could you tell us a bit more about this very interesting work you do?
I work with an interdisciplinary approach across various media. Multisensory experiences emerge with colour, light, glass, words and sounds. Art, science and interactive technology are combined to expose the fragility of time and the sensitive environment. My latest exhibition at Exposed Arts Projects in London deals with the atmospheric condition and artistic knowledge production.
Through my work, I look into the matter of air and atmospheric phenomena. I am interested in bringing forth the invisible processes of nature that surround and influence us yet remain partly inaccessible. Recently, I have investigated the formation of clouds and their complex role in climate and society in collaboration with climate scientists.
My exhibitions are site-specific and tied to the present change in the environment. The artwork is not a stable being, it is a continuous process, always in transition - just like weather and cloud formation. For example, the materiality shifts according to light and weather or the installation proceeds with the real-time scientific data measured directly from the atmosphere. Sometimes the artwork is an everchanging pastel-coloured virtual realm or a meditative walk in a forest.
I am also interested in what kind of position art can have in the climate change action. I am a great believer in the power of imagination. The multisensory has the potential to challenge us. Therefore it is important to allow the work to move between the poetic, the political and the philosophical. This pushes the boundaries and leads into new ways of sustainable thinking and interspecies being.
How did you start this work, and did you know in the beginning how it would end up being? Do you normally have some kind of an idea of the final piece when you start a process?
Everything starts from the continuous process which is the subject, method and energy of my artworks. When the artwork is connected to the environment, there is unexpectedness in the experience. The ongoingness becomes a metaphysical question, it acts as a philosophical proposal.
I like to think that my artworks are speculative and lean towards the future. The unknown becomes part of the work and invites the viewer to recognise its potential. It is about observation and listening to the environment.
The beginning of the work can be spontaneous and openendedness is important art. I combine long-term research and material enquiries together. My collaborations with climate scientists and the recent discoveries in atmospheric physics influence my work.
How much does your personal and work life get mixed? Are you able to keep them separate?
Art is an inseparable part of my existence so it is very difficult to detach personal and work life. Luckily I am able to work flexibly and follow my inspiration. It is important to notice that art also happens when you do not actively search for it.
I like to spend a lot of time in my studio in Helsinki but the work also exists without. I have learnt different ways of mixing the personal and professional being and always searching for new nomadic and seasonal approaches beyond physical restrictions. Of course, this has affected shaping my interdisciplinary practice to what it is today. For me, it is important to change methods and materials, it keeps the experimentation fresh and novel.
Which artists would you recommend to follow at the moment?
I recently saw wonderful textiles and ceramics by Bea Bonafini at Bosse&Baum in London. I wait for Karoliina Hellberg’s enigmatic paintings in her upcoming exhibition at Galerie Anhava in Helsinki. I enjoy following the World Weather Network online, it is a great mix of art and global weather observations. Art for Change is also an interesting platform for environmental action.
Thanks so much Josefina! Have a great day!
Portrait by Atelier Aino
Artwork photography by Josefina Nelimarkka