Tuuli Saarekas City Life


“My exhibition City Life has three different sections: collapse, perseverance, and hope. Each section handles the mindset in its own way.

A pencil drawing is based on a startling discovery at the edge of a wasteland: an orange boxing bag was hanging in brushwood with a note from a person who had fallen through society´s safety nets. In the exhibition, the drawing extends to the gallery space with elements placed next to it, e.g. with bronze sculptures and blast furnace slag.

I like city areas with low maintenance. When there’s no one controlling how to move or behave, a sense of freedom is present. It´s also interesting to think of what kind of landscapes people are drawn to in different mindsets or when going through particular life situations. How to cope with unexpected – internal and external– obstacles?

In the second section, a number of Idle Plants, which are built from different found objects and recycled materials, hang inside a big metal frame. Some of them are spread around the structure. I’ve created the plant sculptures in 2015–2020 through free association – I could vary them endlessly! Last time I imagined that these sculptures are like weeds growing out of pavement cracks – such guerrillas. The big metal frame functions as a pedestal for the plants, but it also refers to a building. Are the plant sculptures its habitants, or pictures of people in the city?

In the third section of the exhibition, I present more frames: whole landscapes and horizons. The landscapes are woven on a loom. While weaving, I´ve been thinking of home as a concept, both on an individual level as globally: how the external reality leaks into the internal, and vice versa. Is home a refuge or a prison? What about the opposite of home, homelessness, what does that mean?

When I´m doing art, I feel that I´m at home. In my everyday life, I carry my materials around the city with me. As I move around the city, my gaze wanders from the roofs of the buildings down to the ground, to all sorts of random things, and then back to the sky. In the exhibition, I picture this wandering gaze. The ever-changing city and its absurd encounters are my inspiration.

This exhibition could not have been possible with the help of many people. Finding a community and the people whom I´ve been lucky to work with and create my artworks, means that a certain feeling of externality has started to disappear. Thank you for your help friends, family, and other supporters.

The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland and the Finnish Artists’ Association.”

Tuuli Saarekas (b. 1988) is an artist living and working in Helsinki. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2017. Her artistic practice consists of sculptures, installations, drawings, environmental art, and texts. Saarekas is inspired by the simultaneous emergence of contradictions, and in her works, she combines different counterparts: industrial or natural forms, bought and found materials, mass-produced elements and unique, self-made objects. On another, intangible level, she confuses opposing concepts as ugly–beautiful, close–remote, useful–worthless. Her working process can also be depicted as contradictory: it’s sometimes contemplative, sometimes chaotic. Saarekas’ works have been exhibited in Finland and abroad.

Please note: important information for visitors: 

The exhibition opens without an opening ceremony open to the public.

In May 22–31, the exhibition can be visited by appointment only within our opening hours. The exhibition can be viewed by calling us or sending us an email, so that we can restrict the number of visitors in the space, if necessary. As of June, the gallery opens its doors normally for visitors.

We will keep following the Finnish government´s instructions on preventing the spreading of the coronavirus. We pay special attention to a safe gallery visit by carefully cleaning the space, taking care of hand hygiene, and safety distances. Visitors are kindly requested to note the safety distance of 2 metres to other visitors and our staff.

The exhibition is on view May 22–June 14, 2020:
Tue-Wed 12–17, Thu 12–19, Fri 12–17, Sat-Sun 12–16

Subscribe to a newsletter

By subscribing to our newsletter you will get news on our exhibitions and events.