©Jussi Tiainen

Nora Tapper Cleaner’s cupboard and other sculptures


“The sculptures in my exhibition Cleaner’s Cupboard and Other Sculptures are based on my perceptions of space and light, for which I seek three-dimensional forms.

A snake plant casts a shadow on the door of the cleaner’s cupboard on a May morning. In June, the light of the setting sun paints the texture of old glass on a wall. In November daylight hours decrease, shades of grey taking over. Drizzle and wet surfaces absorb all light, dampness and cold sneak up on one’s skin.

The character sculptures are based on old photographs of my grandparents. The pictures could be from any photo album from the early 1900s. I’m touched and fascinated by the seriousness of the people portrayed in those photos, undoubtedly caused by the particular, solemn atmosphere of the photoshoot, and the long exposure times. In my sculptures I search for the moment that transforms pieces of wood into human characters with their own expressions and postures.

While sculpting, I wanted to see those people that I’ve known when they were old. I wanted to see how they were when young, when they did not yet know what life would bring. Youth is a white paper on which life draws its line, shading some parts and brightening others. What happens to us between youth and old age? How do we accept the joys and sorrows of life?

My sculptures are spaces and portraits made of plywood, laths and alder wood. They reflect the atmospheres of seasons and small everyday moments. There is only now.”

Nora Tapper (b.1961) graduated from the Department of Sculpture of The Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in 1993. She lives and works in Helsinki.

The exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

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