I have been practicing a steady hand lately! I am producing a set of artworks inspired by nature – quite obvious for a Finn, but anyway. Some of these pieces are pure admiration of the beauty of trees, wild flowers, animals of the forest – some show the imaginative and much darker forest… It is very much work in process – even I myself am looking forward the final outcomes. These artworks will be on show at my solo exhibition at Galleria Mafka&Alakoski, Helsinki.
Here’s some of this years events, all in Finland / 2017 Näyttelyt
Solo exhibition, Galleria Mafka&Alakoski, 16.3.-13.4.2017
Holidays are over, but here are some samples of drawings I’ve made recently with felt-tip markers – presumably for children. But who doesn’t like bright colours? These drawings were inspired by Tulip mania – people going mad in buying tulip bulbs in 17th century Netherlands. Can a flower with vivid colours be so precious that you’ll spend your fortune on them?
So, with fresh thoughts and ideas to the challenges of 2017! I’ll have at least two exhibitions to prepare for here in Finland (Galleria Mafka&Alakoski, Helsinki in March and group exhibition at Voipaala art center in September). I was also really glad to receive a letter all the way from Corning Museum of Glass: one of my artwork will be presented in New Glass Review 38. The Review will be published later this year – looking forward to see the assembly of new glass art it will present.
Some glow in the middle of darkness: hot glass! I had been hoarding some graal blanks for months and now it was time to make the ready pieces.
I’ve been creating drawings about sacred groves – important feature in many myths and many cultures: Finns, Celts, Slavic, etc. have considered forests and trees to be sacred. However these illustrations aim to be imaginative and mythical: they depict a mishmash of imaginary cult practices and realistic trees and animals. Sacred grove will be the theme my solo exhibition in Helsinki next spring. Stay tuned!
On the foreground Springtime Witch (2016) – mouthblown glass, Graal technique, made in Riihimäki, Finland.
It’s probably no surprise that I draw constantly and I possess several sketchbooks. I process thoughts by drawing, and not all of my drawings are ambitious or finished. Now that I’m planning art pieces for next year’s exhibitions, so I decided to have a look into my sketchbooks, so here are some samplings!
I apologize the ungraceful copyright texts, but I have encountered a company selling my pics as prints without my permission… So these drawings are here for you to look, comment, get inspired, share on-line or to ask my services as an illustrator -not to print and use commercially.
The first drawing Kuolemankukka has to do with human’s and nature’s relationship and way we poison our surroundings and ourselves. The second drawing was inspired by The Rite of Spring -the ballet, where dancers make expressive mad jumps. The third drawing can be titled as Housewarming party and the last drawing… well it’s just about the great feeling of Disbelief.
An intensive week as artist-in-residence at International Glass Studio, Bárdudvarnok (Nemzetközi Üveg Alkotótelep) is over! I spent the week in Hungarian countryside creating art at the studio in small village of Bárdibükk. I definitely got new ideas to bring home. Here below some of the new pieces: Jonathan Swift’s Horse and Stressed out, made with glassblower James Carcass.
…not really, more like planting the bulbs for next season. I have been casting plaster at ceramic studio in Tampere and then I managed to deal myself a very very fine wooden mold from a retired carpenter. So here you are, in this posting you can feast your eyes in pics of good old Nuutajärvi:
You know where I’m going next? I’m proud to announce that I’ve been granted with a week long artist-in-residency at the International Glass Studio in Bárdudvarnok, Hungary! Woop woop!
Some works from exhibitions have returned and it’s time to get studio photos. These dark, graphic, bold artworks were made for Nuutajärvi summer exhibition – and they present fleshy, somewhat unromantic sexual encounters. Back to animal instincts and so forth… I admit being doubtful with revealing this works, yet it seemed to pay off to merge explicit illustration together with crafted glass art.
These heavy glass pieces (black overlay colour, graal technique!) were made at Mafka&Alakoski glass studio in Riihimäki in co-operation with glassblower master Kari Alakoski. Photos: Joonas Tähtinen
I feel so lucky! Because of European Glass Context 2016 -conference I spent some sunny and compelling days on the picturesque island of Bornholm, Denmark.
At the conference I present my study Conscience of glass from last year. It is a report on Finnish glassmaking today and an insight into realities and mindset of contemporary glassmakers. I am proud to have had the chance to present the research now at Bornholm for international audience of glass people. The full study can be read by clicking here to: Aaltodoc.
Besides the conference I attended The Glass Virus -educational think tank and visited the openings of the exhibitions of European Glass Context. Great people, interesting conversations, beautiful diversity of glass artworks… what would one wish for more! I don’t feel at all like leaving the island.
Thank you Frankfurt and Tendence fair 2016! It was a good learning experience to present art in big design fair context and I was pleased to have future contacts, positive feedback and interesting talks with the fair visitors.
Here’s a picture gallery of the works I had on display:
Gloomy mermaid & Deer in Distress
Two faces of a drowned man
Deer in Distress
Sinking girl 2012
Inquiries about the designs: ella.varvio(at)gmail.com
Next destination: Frankfurt am Main, Germany! I’ll be presenting story-driven ceramic and glass design, all handmade in Finland! Welcome to see how mermaids, ghosts and fairy tales dive into the buzzing international fair center in sleek Frankfurt!
My stand can be found within Talents-exhibition in hall 9.0. The fair is open 27-29.8. 9am-6pm, on 30.8. 9am-5pm.
Click for more info about Tendence 2016 and Messe Frankfurt: