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 Helena Pokkinen
 Kuvataiteilija - Visual Artist

BIOGRAPHY                                                                   -> in finnish 

Helena Pokkinen is a Finnish visual artist. 

She was born in Kokemäki, Finland, in 1955. 

She has graduated as a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Applied Sciences in Tampere in 2011. 

                      She has also graduated as a textile designer at Kuopio Institute of Art and Design. In addition, she has studied art education at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences. She has also studied plastic 
composition and woodcut at the University of Art and Design in
Helsinki. She has also become a dressmaker at vocational school. 

                      She held her first solo exhibition in 1995 and has taken part in group exhibitions in Finland and abroad since 2004. 

                      She lives and works in Tampere, Finland



I describe life phenomena but usually in an abstract or symbolic way. You can see some references from nature in my works. A starting-point is often something that I find in an environment at one glance. In a later made work, there may be some hue or a constructive idea picked up from that perceptual moment. 

Sometimes it happens that a motif subconsciously wells up to my mind either clear or obscure from a source that I don’t even know about. The motif is like a visual synonym for my state of mind, or even word. Even though the starting-point is a motive that struck me, my working style is slow. The works develop little by little, and ideas and unfinished works might wait a long time for development. 

The basis of my working is my own development process, which has happened during a period of many years. With it many archetypal symbols have became personal experiences to me, and I have found my own intuitive path. 

In the world, there are countless things that fascinate me, for instance many similarities in the microscopic and macroscopic world. I think that maybe there is some kind of a construction of how everything has been built. 

In art I feel as a rallying point for the experiences that people get involved in around the world year after year. Some of the experiences are such that we can understand, but about some of them we only have a presentiment. I think my art could be like a little window into that invisible world.


1. Removal 

This is made by coal in 2009. The paper size is 72 x 90cm. I had made a sketch earlier in a small size.  This picture was born intuitively without any object as my works usually. 

I think if you move yourself from a place to another one, you are not exactly anywhere. That is the moment when everything is possible to you. Maybe you are afraid but also excited. 

Removal is an event from one place to another, from state to another, maybe from time to another. It can be thought about as a concrete event, but it can also be an alteration of a mental state of mind. Also the shamans traveled to the land of spirits without moving anywhere.


2. Far away - here

This is the woodcut print made in 2006. It is one of the series ‘Kaukana tässä’. If I translate the name, the words are far away and here. You can think about it in many ways, of course, but if you think you could be in two places at the same time, it might be something strange. 

This work is printed with press and by hand. The size of the image is 33 x 50cm. The blocks are birch plywood and have been cut using several tools. The inks are oil-based and the work has seven printing times. It has been printed using transparent colours and you can see the grains of the wood on the sheet.


3. Season

This is the small woodcut that I made 2008. The size is 9 x 10cm. I like to make small woodcuts sometimes. Because of the small size you have to work nicely: just a little change might cause a big change for result. When making a mini print I think that it is like a charm: not like decoration but something compelling. 

As a starting point for this work I used an old cutting block. The motif grew pending stages. There are many layers of colours and both transparent and opaque colours. The small woodcuts I mostly print by hands. Generally I use Japanese papers for woodcuts and so for this work, too.