MADE BY is the Institute’s new interviews of series that allows artists, designers, thinkers and doers to unfold their creative process in their own words.
The second in line is the internationally renowned Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen. She works on large installation pieces and has taken part in numerous private and group exhibitions in Finland and internationally. Kaikkonen has been awarded with Finland’s State Prize in 1989 and The Ministry of Education and Culture’s Annual Finland Prize in 2001. Currently Kaikkonen is exhibiting two installation works in Fabrica as part of Brighton Festival.
My art is vanishing. At the moment I’m sitting on the floor in the middle of 500 shirts from Brighton which have been collected with the help of my local partners. I have lots of voluntary assistants: local artists and art lovers eager to help and learn in the process. After the exhibition is over, all the shirts will be recycled on.
My work is often inspired by my previous artwork. I find ideas from my old installations, but it doesn’t mean that I’m a prisoner of my own work. My old work just gives me a perspective to contemplate things. Sites and places are very important to me as an artist. The history and feeling of a place coupled with who I am at that particular moment, my thoughts and my own past, create a work of art.
I start my work by doing a three-dimensional model. The process makes me stressed, worried and anxious. I fear that something goes wrong, or that I don’t know what I’m doing. Concern is also an overriding feeling. As the work progresses however, it creates a feeling of safety.
My art gives me a sense of success. To see an installation completed, feel it talking to me and learn from it. It is an incredible adventure.
Every installation that I make develops me as an artist, but it is hard to say how. I have always been an adventurer and wanted to try and learn new things. I never felt that I needed to find my own artistic style. Finding my own limits is much more interesting. Of course my art isn’t always brilliant, but it is, most definitely, always interesting.
I wish people would find ways to contemplate their own lives through my art: to face their true selves. I wish they could look at my art with an open mind and without prejudice. I want everyone to interpret it in their own way, I don’t want to direct people. I have learned that people experience my art in very many different ways. Life is a journey that cannot be measured in miles, just in experiences and encounters. I hope my art can be one of those encounters.
MADE BY: KAARINA KAIKKONEN