Arja Kärkkäinen: Hiljaisuuden suuri ääni, 2017 / Kuva: Emilia Rüf

That moment in all of the passing time
when the light is not there yet

I have nightmares, or images of the truth

the dreams repeat themselves
they leave a mark in wakefulness

Works from 2017 and 2019 are comparable to each other in the HAM Gallery exhibition. A series of four new works is based on the uninterrupted cycle of birth and death, the difficulty of telling the beginning and the end of the flow apart, even uselessness. In the images, the struggle of a friend battling cancer is compared to the birth of new life. To events that cannot be seen with the naked eye: layers of faith, fear, chance and joy. Places where your life changes direction are deposited in the unspoken contradiction between your happiness and the loss of another.

The concrete and aluminium works Josta käytävät kaikuvat (of which the hallways echo) and Hajoamaan herääjä (waking to come apart) can be seen as counterpoints to tombstones, as birth stones for the living: the floors of government agencies, shopping centres and offices can be seen as monuments to all being. Kahdeksannen rautamunan hautoja (hatcher of the eighth iron egg) and Syvyydentavoittaja (reaching for the depths) are digitally woven jacquards, which are unconventionally examined from both sides.

Arja Kärkkäinen (b. 1986) is a Helsinki based visual artist. She has graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki with a MA in sculpture and from Lahti University of Applied Sciences as a designer. Kärkkäinen works mainly with sculpture and moving image but a variety of techniques play an important role in her work. Her current themes explore questions of involvement, structures of society and social life. Kärkkäinen’s works have been presented in exhibitions in Finland and internationally.

The exhibition and the artist have received support from Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Uusimaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation as well as Greta ja William Lehtisen säätiö (the Greta and William Lehtinen foundation).