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Leena Kangas – ANOTHER PHASE

The exhibition is a meeting of two originally separate work phases that gradually fold around each other.

For several years I have painted mainly on paper. Alongside strong colours and clear shapes a crucial part of my artwork has been the feel of the material: the both sides of paper, its wrinkling, folding and straightening. Many times I have allowed the paper itself, its tendencies, to affect my process of painting. The paintings I made in the late winter of 2021 have a map-like shape. You may see plain abstract cell tissues as well as sketches of places and terrains being shaped by humans’ actions.

In the summer of 2021 I started to explore new paints – self-made natural colours and inks. I did this playfully (I carried out an art workshop of natural colours with my daughter) but also with climate anxiety and an effort to avoid plastic which drove me to find more ecological options.

When a material or a tool is new to you, it surprises you many times and carries to sometimes unpredictable outcomes. Little by little you get acquainted with it and the new material or tool becomes symbiotic with your previous knowledge. It becomes a part of your expression – which also transforms in the process. I think this is what has happened and is happening when I’m fiddling with these plant-based colours.

One of the exhibition’s most recent pieces, Kuparireittejä (Copper Routes), which is also pictured in the poster, places us again on the map.

I want to thank Arts Promotion Centre Finland for supporting my work.

Leena Kangas (1963) lives and works in Oulu, Finland. She graduated as a painter from Free Art School of Helsinki (1984) and the Department of Painting in Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (1988). She has held numerous solo exhibitions and actively participated in many joint exhibitions as well as other art activities. Since 2006 Kangas has also worked as an art critic.

Leena Kangas, Areas, 2020