Exhibitions

DAVVI (NORTH) and  SUODJI (SHELTER)

Kuvataiteen näyttelyitä ja tapahtumia
Date

04.06.2022 - 28.08.2022

Avoin opastettu yleisökierros

09.06.2022

Marja Helander’s works contemplate the complicated relationship between people and nature through the perspective of environmental issues. For a number of years, Helander has captured images of the impacts of the mining industry on the indigenous Sámi Homeland in the northern Fennoscandian Peninsula. She examines the unavoidable relationship between the mining industry and modern standards of living and our consumer culture, and the impact mining has on the sensitive nature of the northern regions that ultimately affects the traditional livelihoods of the indigenous Sámi peoples. 

In her series Davvi (North), showcased in the Northern Photographic Centre, Helander visualises the problems that emerge between Sámi traditions and modern society. Nickel extracted from the Kola Peninsula is used for making stainless steel and batteries for mobile telephones. Apatite mined from the Khibinsky tundras is used to produce phosphates as fertilisers to satisfy the needs of agriculture. Nature is of vital importance for the Sámi. Helander’s work emphasises the interdependence of people and nature. In addition to landscapes, the artist takes animal characters to connect herself to the traditional Sámi worldview. “I have always wanted to depict human flesh and how a human being is just an animal among other animals, dependent on nature, ecosystems and earth. We form part of nature’s own cycle of life, a pile of particles and molecules.”  Despite the serious themes, her works are humorous and Helander playfully highlights collisions between people and nature in her new self-portraits.

The Northern Photographic Centre also shows Helander’s most recent short film Suodji (Shelter) adapting an old tale from Utsjoki in the Sámi Homeland to the present day. The short film tells the story of the director’s relative Oula Iivari Helander (Ovllá-Ivvár Helander) and his life during the Spanish Flu pandemic in Utsjoki back in 1918. Oula Iivari Helander decided to cheat death and took his fate into his own hands. Today, the coronavirus is causing similar uncertainty and is a global threat. The leading character in the short film decides to follow in the footsteps of Oula Iivari. But in the end, who is who?

Cultural Centre Valve and Northern Photographic Centre are closed in July.

Näyttelyn teoksia

Artist

Marja Helander