Anni Laakso



The artist will be present at the gallery on the opening day from 12–5pm and on Sunday 7 March at 2–4pm.

The process behind this exhibition has started from Rome, where I was visiting in the context of my artistic work. There I was exploring specially ancient roman and baroque buildings and sculptures. The subject of my artworks was inspired by Ancient stories of four women and their lives. I chose pine branches, gathered  in forests, as the material for my sculptures.

The stories of the four women led me to work with a new, abstract form and motion. Moreover, I felt that these stories needed to be visualized with a free, uncontrolled element in order to bring out a new point of view to the storyline. Within the process of the sculpting, the artworks turned completely abstract. I was sculpting following the free motion of the branches. Eventually, the branches were formed into helical, open forms.

Three sculptures that are on display in the exhibition are adapted from Metamorphosis (8 AD), a collection of modified Ancient stories by Roman poet Ovid. The stories are about forms that have transformed into new figures. The world of the stories are under constant and whimsical change. The transformations consist crime, pushing boundaries and questioning.

The starting point for these three sculptures is in stories in which the transformation is due to violence.

Dafne was a young maiden, that had to transform into a laurel tree to avoid the harassment of the god Apollo.

Proserpina, maiden, that was raped by Hades and then forced into the underworld to be Hades’ companion.

Medusa, maiden, that was raped and then turned into a terrifying monster whose gaze turned anyone looking her into stone.

Pandora was the first woman molded from clay according to a story by Greek poet Hesiod (700 BC). She was represented the blame for all the evil in the world that she brought in her vase (Pandora’s box).

Sculptor Anni Laakso creates temporary, site-specific installations, which she constructs by hand tools, often from found materials. Laakso is interested in the various means of sculpture, that allows to process and bring out all kinds of issues, also political.

Laakso lives and works in Helsinki. In 1995 she graduated as sculpturer from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and ever since, her works has been exhibited in various exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. In addition, she has made public installations to Espoo Centre, Leinelä in Vantaa and Kivikko in Helsinki.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Special thanks to Villa Lante in Rome and Klemetsby Gård for the wood.