Marja Saleva: Playing Like A Flower In A Red Sea While Building A Long New Dress (Family Album)

15.08.2020 - 20.09.2020

Welcome to the opening on Friday August 14th at 5pm

When I was born my parents were really happy.
They were very, very happy.
My parents thought I was wonderful.
They thought I was so wonderful.
My parents were happy that I was so wonderful.
My parents couldn’t believe I was so wonderful.
I was really, really wonderful.
My parents were so happy.

Family Album is a depiction of family relations and history, the roles we are given and the ones we take and adopt. It portrays the building and breaking down of an identity, a continuous process. Growth and pain, different role models and the heritage of the past generations become visible in the images.

Family Album is a series of zines, with 60–80 pages each. They combine old family photographs, passport photos, photo booth and mobile phone images, childhood drawings and text by using collage technique. In the series there are four zines that have been finished in 2018–2019.

The exhibition is an installation, a selection from all the four zines. It consists of photographs, printed on different materials and in different forms, and some other elements. It is like a 3D book that the viewer can walk through. Each room is one image or one spread. For the exhibition single images have been taken out of the zines, new combinations have been built and a new narrative structure has been created in the gallery. In addition to the images on the walls all the four zines can be seen in the show.

In the zines same images and elements are recycled in various forms and contexts. Different signs, shapes and symbols are used in order to create space for associations and new meanings. The aim is to follow children’s logic and to combine something light and heavy, funny and serious in the images.

Playing, experimenting and using amateur aesthetics are the key elements in Saleva’s artistic practise. She uses photographs because they have a certain connection to reality. But she wants to shake and disturb that connection, let her mind and imagination blend in the images. She works very intuitively. By listening to her inner impulses Saleva aims to reach something invisible, irrational and unconscious, something she can’t find by planning and reason.

Marja Saleva (s. 1975) is a photographic artist who uses masses of images and text in her works. In building images she often applies collage techniques together with different kinds of digital manipulations. The themes of her work arise from her personal daily life.

Saleva has made her Bachelor’s degree at the photography department of the Turku Arts Academy in 2013. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Turku in 2001. Her works have been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Playing Like A Flower In A Red Sea While Building A Long New Dress (Family Album) is her second solo show.

The exhibition has been supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Marja Saleva, Self Portrait With Grandmothers Copper Hair


  • Marja Saleva, Self Portrait With Grandmothers Copper Hair