Lauri Anttila & Corinna Helenelund

Duo exhibition: The light of the Dark Age


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Those things are called beautiful which, being seen, are pleasing.”
-Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

The visions I saw I did not perceive in dreams, or sleep, or delirium, or by the eyes of the body, or by the ears of the outer self, or in hidden places; but I received them while awake and seeing with a pure mind and the eyes and ears of the inner self.
-Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

The Association of Finnish Sculptors´ Duo Exhibition presents two artists who are at different stages in their careers and whose works form an interesting dialogue. Artists Lauri Anttila and Corinna Helenelund were invited two years ago to a joint exhibition, and since then, they have discussed color, light and time through meetings and emailed letters. Simultaneously, they have found the Middle Ages as a mutual era of interest.

38 years ago Anttila wrote an article in the magazine Taide (1/82 ”Pimeän kuva”), about medieval researchers in England. They were interested in the geometric properties of light. The behaviour of light, its reflections and refractions, were measurable. The research about the light of the “Dark Ages” has developed, and the last years have provided new knowledge.

While Anttila has returned to medieval studies of light, astronomy and cartography, Helenelund has been reading texts by the mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Through a meditative craft work, with an interest in the touch sense of the eye, Helenelund has approached a reality where spirit and matter are an inseparable weave of a greening life force.

During the collaboration, the artists have got acquainted with each other’s working methods: Helenelund has been wandering in the same paths as Anttila, and Anttila has made a textile work. Through discussions and exchange of thoughts, a common ground and a starting point for the exhibition has been gradually formed, and the artists have decided to investigate together more the worldview and multisensory perception in the Middle Ages.

In the exhibition the discussions take form, and the artists’ dialogue continues as a Gesamtkunstwerk.

Lauri Anttila (b.1938) is a pioneer Finnish conceptual artist. He is an artist and a teacher who has been central in creating the ground for artistic research in Finland. Anttila has worked as the rector at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 1988–1994 and he is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Time and Space Arts, which he founded. Anttila has several positions of trust and he has received the title of Honorary Doctor at the Academy of Fine Arts and at the University of Lapland´s Department of Fine Arts. The main subject of Anttila´s art is perception. The observations of nature that he presents often through scientific means, are central in his art. His astronomical observations have been for example basis for his public sculptures presenting sundials, which are located in Helsinki, Vantaa and Oulu.

Corinna Helenelund (b. 1985) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts 2013 and has since been living and working on the country side of Porvoo and in Berlin. Her recent work has been seen at Mustarinda in Hyrynsalmi, Titanik in Turku, Kunstverein Göttingen, Norrköpings Konstmuseum, EKKM in Tallinn, The Community in Paris, and at Sinne in Helsinki. 2018 she held a residence at HIAP, in Suomenlinna, and 2020 she will start a residence at Pro Artibus Villa Snäcksund, in Tammisaari.

The exhibition has been supported by the Association of Finnish Sculptors´s named funds S. Vuorio Fund and Ida and Johannes Haapasalo Fund, the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.