Tiina Laasonen Glued together
“As a child, I learned to respect the culture of silence, that was present both in the surrounding nature and in people. The silence made me feel comfortable and safe and I learned to sense presence without the use of words. Later, the artistic practice became my language, and with it, I reflect on humanity and our relationship to the environment.
My recent works have dealt with the importance of memory in relation to preserving one´s own identity. First, I was looking at this theme from another point of view, but the reality of the ongoing war in Europe stopped me to think about its cruelty and the intergenerational traumas that wars cause. I reflected also on our national trauma, and how the war has affected my age group over one generation. Although I have been lucky, and I´ve been able to live in an independent and safe country, a certain threat has always been present.
For the exhibition at Galleria Sculptor, I have turned wood into a single piece, Glued together. The work combines different wood e.g. a garden tree from friends, a tree from my home yard, and surplus material from other works. Each wood has its own story – where it comes from, why it was cut, and who gave it to me. In the work, I use for example birch from Virpi´s birch alley from Ilmajoki, Liisa and Timppa´s hackberry and rowen from Seinäjoki, Macke´s storm-fell oak tree from Vaasa, my mother´s apple tree from Kauhava, Pauliina´s grandparents´ old juniper from Seinäjoki, as well as a nesting tree that Suoku kept in a woolshed, and which was only available for use after this summer´s nesting had ended. In addition, the work features birch, aspen, and alder that grow in my own yard. The spectrum of life is visible in the artwork as the histories of different families are combined in it into a pearl of memory.
The tree remembers where it grew, and so do I. I remember each tree and a hut of lilacs in our backyard. Through these memories, I have found my love for wood both as living and stacked material, as well as as the material for my works. Many people have offered me their fallen yard trees for sculpting by saying “You should make something out of this”. Based on this, surely most people have a favorite tree.”
The exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland.
Tiina Laasonen (b. 1968) works with sculpture and spatial art. In her work, craftsmanship and traditional woodworking techniques are united with contemporary sculpture. Laasonen works with wood by sawing, planing, gluing, carving, and turning. The different shapes, properties, and the warmth and softness of wood, make wood Laasonen´s favorite material. Laasonen graduated from the Kankaanpää Art School as a sculptor in 1993. Laasonen has also worked as an environmental artist and made several public works. Her works have been featured in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions in Finland and abroad, and her works belong to many museum and public collections. Laasonen has been awarded the Jaakkoo Cultural Award in 2019, the Ostrobothnia Art Council´s prize in 2017 and the Young Ostrobothnian Artist prize in 1997.