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Milla Aska: Swirls

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Milla Aska’s Swirls is an exhibition of whirls, dizzy sensations and spinning gazes. In Swirls, paintings and crayon pencil drawings’ misty surfaces veil figures that emerge slowly from beneath the layers, looking for their shapes. In Aska’s observations, indescribable bodily feelings are connected to strokes that explore surfaces and to outlines that fade away quietly.

Milla Aska: Vortex, 2023. Photo: Liina Aalto-Setälä

Picture a lying body, at night, in a sleepless moment/ when
thoughts turn into the most restless of streams/

the whirlpool inside is wild and dusky ~ a
maelstrom/ like the struggle to explain to another
being, /

on a bad day, what the problem is/ 

or giddiness when one looks ahead and the blurry/
sight curls onto the temples. Finally/
leap to relief, dash to freedom! Movement arrives from the
fingertips/ stays in the light, twirled between the figures/

is a sensation, hint or gift./ 

The fading of the outlines begins the stroke’s infinitesimal time/
bruise ~ atmosphere ~ mood 

The crumbling plaster in the arches of the Convent of San Marco/
can be felt through one’s eyes. Mist, haze; like a fabric; like a cloud;light, fluffy./ To lick the spiralling lollipop surface of marble./
To faint; to whirl. To fade, to breathe./ 

Feeling a smile? Becoming the sea? Hair in the wind?/
Hiding, whispering, unending and unborn beings?
Comfort looming through a blur? 

Original text, including the poem: Juho Hoikka
English translation: Päivi Tikkanen

Milla Aska (b. 1993) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. Her works have been on display in the Titanik Gallery, Monitoimitila O and Kunsthalle Kohta, among others. In 2020, Aska graduated with a master’s degree from the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts. Aska’s artistic practice is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.