Anja Karkku-Hohti has made a long career in art. She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1959, after which she has performed in numerous group and solo exhibitions both in Finland and abroad.

Vernissage with live performance by Lara Virtanen on 12th January at 18:00

I was born in a big family in Hailuoto, northern Finland. My home was not oriented in visual arts in any way but already as a child I loved drawing and painting. As a schoolgirl I illustrated a children’s picture book which was published in 1955 . Already at a young age, I was very enthusiastic about the French modernism of the beginning of 1900s, I especially loved cubist design language of Cezanne and the glowing colors of Matisse. After graduating from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, I have worked both as a painter and as a teacher of visual arts.

For decades I painted with oil colors, but lately I have been using only gouache paints because I am fascinated by their purity and luminosity.

My work has been periodically figurative or totally abstract. During these decades a part of my art has taken a social side and includes even works describing natural phenomena. This time my theme consists of objects and things that surround us physically and mentally. The fact that one portrays observations from life, is not merely a subjective point of view. I believe that many of the experiences and findings are common to all of us.

It is fascinating to see how people are placing a wide range of meanings in objects. The object may have a strong symbolic meaning, or it contains powerful emotions. Memories give often a special meaning to an everyday object, and when different objects are combined the meanings make new stories.

However, color and light have a primary role in my paintings. The paintings are built of them; composition, rhythm, intactness and aesthetics.

Bright and clear colors give me energy and strength which is extremely important especially during this kind of black and white season. The aim in my paintings is not to review the major problems of the society, nor to cure the world. I want to improve, bring light and joy to the most important thing we have, our lives.