Riitta Ikonen’s large scale photographs and sculpture thread memory, myth, imagination and a romantic view of the natural world through a series of long-term projects pursued alone or in conjunction with regular collaborators. Portrait of the artist as a young leaf presented an overview of the artist’s multi-disciplinary responses to experiences, locations and situations, all of which highlighted her ability to examine the silent, dynamic potential that exists between people and the world around them. Eyes as Big as Plates documents older inhabitants in remote landscapes around the world. The on-going project, which has taken the artists to Norway, the US, Iceland, the United Kingdom, France, Faroe Islands and Finland, was inspired by Scandinavian folklore. In her performance-based work, Ikonen deftly communicates the sweet sentimentality inherent in the changing of the seasons or the profound sadness prompted by climate change. There is no getting back to nature; there is only existing with and within it in its current, impermanent state.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 2015
Photos: Colin Conce