The artist of the month of the Lapland Artists’ Association – Korundi Kitchen & Café
1.6.2021-29.6.2021, Korundi, Rovaniemi

My work series is based on photographs from my grandfather’s estate, taken in
Amerika. They depict Finnish emigrants who left their home country in the
beginning of the 20th century. I continue to paint immigrants, using that material
as a source.
My previous collection depicted immigrants heading to Europe. Inspired by
photographs, I now paint Finnish immigration, which is often forgotten in the
Departure has been and still is today the result of either the hope of a better life
or the compulsion to leave as a result of some conflict or natural disaster.
Climate change is a more common reason for the departure of the present and
the future. Living becomes so difficult that you have to start looking for a new
way to survive.
While I work, I consider the reasons that have led or will lead to departures.
What can await them ahead? Has leaving been worth leaving? What is the cost
of the trip and possible arrival as an experience? Emigrants leave something
behind. What can it mean for those who stay?
The images I got from my grandfather´s trip to America are related in my mind to
my own work-related migration from Northern Ostrobothnia to southern Sweden
in the 60s and 70s. The current migration from my home region of northern
Finland takes place to growth centers, mainly to southern Finland. However,
migration in different eras and in different directions have common features that
I try to bring out in my works.

Amerikkaan lähteneet VIII, 2021, öljy kankaalle, 120 x 100 cm, kuva Liisa Harju, 2021
Amerikkaan lähteneet VIII, 2021, öljy kankaalle, 120 x 100 cm, kuva Liisa Harju, 2021