In addition to the three main exhibitions, the Biennale programme includes over forty parallel events organised by local artists, designers and galleries. Weekly asked designer Tuulia Penttilä to tell us more about the KAKS pop-up and artist Karin Widnäs about the background of her new private museum which will open this summer.
Held for the first time, the Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale will open its doors to the public on Sunday, 19th May 2019 at 11 at the historical ironworks village of Fiskars. In addition to the three main exhibitions, the programme includes over forty parallel events organised by local artists, designers and galleries as well as smaller art, design and photography exhibitions. Furthermore, the programme includes painting classes, flower assembly workshops, yoga and drawing, and many events for kids and families, from theater and music shows to children’s art and design workshops.
Helsinki Design Weekly asked designer Tuulia Penttilä to tell us more about the KAKS (two) pop-up, which she’s organising together with designer Camilla Moberg. We also asked artist Karin Widnäs about the background of her new private museum which will open this summer.
Tuulia, where did the idea for the KAKS pop-up come from?
The KAKS pop-up showcases two designers, two materials and two perspectives. The exhibition will be held at the Sirius Gallery, where there will be a selection of both of our studio collections as well as entirely new pieces. We think it’s interesting to bring together two different perspectives, and we believe it could start an intriguing dialogue. We also started to wonder how glass and wood could be combined in one product or piece of art. At the gallery people will be able to see for the first time the objects we have designed together and which combine the features of both materials.
Tuulia Penttilä is organising KAKS (two) pop-up together with designer Camilla Moberg.
What connects your and Camilla’s work?
Our design philosophy is based on shared values such as timeless and responsible design as well as production transparency. In both of our productions, the importance of handicraft is huge: Camilla realizes her work with the glassblowers of Nuutajärvi, and I create my studio collections myself at my studio in Fiskars. Local production and the appreciation of handcraft are the cornerstones of our production.
Camilla is known for strong colours and rich design language, whereas my production is defined by functional minimalism and natural materials. The contrast makes an interesting baseline for a dialogue between products. The transparency of the glass combined with the warm tones of the wood creates a delicate whole.
What do you expect from the Biennale?
I expect to see a fascinating offering of exhibitions, and I hope the locality will stand out. I also believe the Biennale will bring new visitors and friends of art and design to Fiskars. In addition to the KAKS pop-up, I am happy to be part of the Factory exhibition curated by Anniina Koivu, where I will showcase my Round collection, which explores new production methods. Since the programme offering is very large, I hope people will save enough time and visit the village more than once during the summer.
Karin, what made you open the KWUM museum?
I have been organizing exhibitions of studio ceramics for already 14 years at my house, where I have invited both Finnish and international artists to showcase their work. I like quality ceramics, and I have been collecting the works of other artists over the years. The idea of starting a museum occurred to me about seven years ago, but I didn’t know then how radically the teaching of ceramics was going to be reduced in Finland. This museum is a wake-up call, through which I want to raise a conversation and defend the state of Finnish ceramics teaching. I hope the decision-makers of our country will understand the meaning of arts and crafts, since we already have a great base and very good doers from different fields of handcrafts.
Aallokko by Karin Widnäs.
What will we see at the museum?
The museum is on two floors. On the first floor there will be an annually changing collection of the handcrafts I have collected since about 1965. In addition, I will invite local and other Finnish artists to exhibit their work on this floor. The first to showcase their works are Kirsti Doukas and Kristian Saarikorpi.
The second floor will hold a gallery, which includes the artwork of six different artists. At the actual opening exhibition visitors will see the works of Erna Aaltonen, Kim Simonsson and Åsa Hellman, to name a few. Further, there will be another exhibition called “Origo”, which means “beginning” in Greek. Origo will demonstrate the making process of ceramics, the raw materials and the working methods used to create ceramic objects.
What are your thoughts on the Biennale?
When I heard about the event over a year ago I was very excited because it is a great opportunity for the village of Fiskars. I am one of the first artists that moved to Fiskars after the closing of the factories, and I have seen how it has developed throughout the years. The number of people has grown very much, and I believe the Biennale will bring even more visitors interested in the history and art of Fiskars.
Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale’s entire programme and more information can be found on the event website. The 2019 Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale will be held for the first time at the village of Fiskars on 19.5.2019–15.9.2019. Helsinki Design Weekly is Biennale’s official media partner.