1. What themes do you pursue in your work and why?
I investigate relationships between art and science, culture and nature as well as ecological and ethical considerations. I ask what is my role in producing and interpreting that information.
2. Tell us about your current project.
I have photographed migratory birds in my field studio at Hanko Bird Observatory located in a nature reserve in the outer Hankoniemi archipelago.
I construct the pictures carefully in the studio. The birds are perfectly positioned on their branches, the lighting is deliberate and the arrangement of detail in each picture, such as plants, branches and supports, is carefully considered. It pleases me that in the studio the birds have a sculptural aspect.
The pictures do not attempt to mimic nature but instead the work process is made visible: one can see cut marks on the plants, cable ties binding them together, branches floating in emptiness and parts of the studio itself. The birds’ movements and volition disrupt this planned ensemble and bring an element of chance into the pictures. The images mix theatrical display with the documentary nature of photographs.
3. Do you have some advice for Photography students?
Be authentic and sincere. Follow your heart and worldview in your work and actions. Observe all kinds of cultural phenomena and contemporary occurrences as well as debates around social and political issues.
If your faith in art and your enthusiasm are strong enough, you can accept that the art world is somewhat unscrupulous and lonely, especially for an artist. Focus on developing yourself and your work. Do not settle for something already accomplished and successful.
4. What was your most interesting experience when studying at the Photography programme in Aalto?
Certain workshops have been very important to me and are still in my mind. For example a workshop by Joakim Eskildsen at the Bengtskär lighthouse, Stefan Bremer´s 24/7 Pleasure workshop and the MA workshop by Jyrki Parantainen and Heli Rekula.
5. What do you think is the most important thing when studying or teaching at the Photography programme in Aalto?
Individual tutorials, discussions and feedback from the photography faculty for instance from Timo Kelaranta, Jorma Puranen, Jyrki Parantainen, Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Ulla Jokisalo.
Also many of my fellow students had a great impact and our conversations had great value to me. Of notable artist colleagues I want to mention Juha Nenonen, Elina Brotherus, Santeri Tuori and Sandra Kantanen.