Johanna Ilvessalo, Interrupted Dream, 2021. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.

Johanna Ilvessalo Interrupted Dream


“The exhibition space is outlined by sheets of glass, movement of water and stainless steel. I’m interested in space and in the means of shaping it with light, shadows and reflections. I compress and cut out elements in order to be left with only the essentials.

I choose multisensory and opposite materials for my work. By choosing materials I try to convey different visions and associations related to the content of my artwork. Glass as a material is hard and reflective yet very fragile. When broken, glass turns into something that can cause pain.

My spatial sculptures concern the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness. Glass alienates the observer from the object, of which outlines have become less recognizable. Something, that no longer can be caught, is disappearing.

In Frozen Memory, a glass chair is hung high, close to the ceiling almost like a trapeze. The shoes, fallen from the feet are left under frozen water. Thin thread connects the shoes and the swing, the ice isolates the memory. In Handle with Care the curtain of water creates a limit between the present and the elsewhere, in which lies the opaque waters of dreams and memories. The curtain of water acts as a protection in the space of change.

Bed is the place where to go for safety, and it has to be durable in order to offer comfort.

In Interrupted Dream, the metallic bed is near collapsing and tranquility of sleep becomes impossible. The atmosphere is unsettled, something sinister happened or is about to happen.

My pieces contemplate the states of perception, memory and emotional experiences through individuals. If we share the same reality, our experiences become collective. Becoming visible, sharing experiences and coming together are basic needs. Humankind is destined to live with oneself and in connection to others.

Johanna Ilvessalo
(b. 1964) lives and works in Helsinki. Ilvessalo studied in Taidekoulu Maa between 1986-1990 and in University of Art and Design Helsinki between 1998-2002. In 2012 she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.

Johanna Ilvessalo has held many solo exhibitions, of which the last one in Gallery Beckers, Jyväskylä, 2020. Ilvessalo has participated in group exhibitions since 1990. The last exhibition abroad was in Tartu Art House in 2019 and the last group exhibition in Finland, in Art and Museum Centre Sinkka, Kerava, 2020.

In 2008 Ilvessalo was awarded the William Thuring prize. Many foundations and museum, such as Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art and Vantaa Art Museum Artsi hold Ilvessalo’s works in their collections. Public art by Ilvessalo can be discovered in Jokiuoma park, Vantaa and abroad Vilnius, Lithuania.

Thanks to Finnish Cultural Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

The artist will be present at the gallery on Sunday, 18.4.2021 at 2–4pm.

Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.

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