I was delighted to receive invitation to be involved with the Art Oxygen 2015. Art Oxygen 2015 Exhibition offers an opportunity to exhibit my most recent drawings alongside artworks by selected Finnish and Russian artists. As artists we share a profound interest in the environment: As individuals we have explored the notion of environment according to our own unique sensibilities.
Walking and exploring the landscape is essential to my art practice; these elements have become inseparable through being in and connecting with the environment.Walking is akin to drawing; it is a physical and mental experience of 'wandering': Both are a means of searching.
The artwork selected for Art Oxygen 2015 includes drawings from (ongoing) Walking Drawings inspired by the landscape of North Karelia.
“A Sense of Walking" is a series of drawings which captures the uneven yet gentle movement through the landscape, providing brief glimpses of ever changing views. These are not drawings from the highest or furthest point of a trail but are suggestions of a landscape as it reveals itself when walking.
“Koli : Lost and Regained” is a grid of drawings exploring the Koli hillside as if lost. There is a sense that the sections have been recorded, recollected and pieced together. Involving (and unfolding) maps is an essential ritual in of the art and experience of walking. The memories and retraced routes are mapped with care and seeming accuracy. There is an attempt to be methodical but some details maybe forgotten, other details obsessively mapped, leaving space for some invention.
"Walk in Progress: Bedrock" is a video drawing meandering through the ancient, captivating landscape of Koli National Park. “Bedrock “is one of a series of 'Walks in Progress' inspired by Koli. The first of the drawings being awarded the winning prize at the Derwent Art Prize 2013, the second (Walk in Progress: Winter) was exhibited at Ukko Koli 2014. “Bedrock” is the latest in the series, the original drawing of 'Walk in Progress: Bedrock' was awarded the installation prize the UK National Open Art 2014. It is entirely appropriate that the video version is being shown in North Karelia. The beautifully simpatico soundscape created by Petri Karttunen to accompany the video enhances the sense of moving through the elements; it's elegance and sense of space is in keeping with the qualities of the drawing. Petri Karttunen also lives and works in North Karelia.
A big thank-you to the exhibition team and fellow exhibitors for putting on such a beautifully curated exhibition. A special thank you to Tiina Hallakorpi and Rick Hall for your help and patience hanging all 69 squares. Skid also showed commendable patience.