Tuesday, August 23, 2011




Garland of Freshly Cut Tears "

Great Oak Café, Llanidloes 7 th  December 2010 to 2 nd  January 2011

I hope you will enjoy this collection of artwork from 1997-2009 that I’m showing for the first time in the UK. I’m originally from Finland, where I have been working as an artist since 1991.
Because it is really a debut, this exhibition doesn’t have a specific theme. It does, however, speak of the contemplation of the nature of reality as well as my experience of the human condition. The emotional moments and thoughts that have given rise to these pieces have come out of many a heartache, as well as the bittersweet pondering of the transitory and illusory nature of reality. Some tears are tears of sadness, some are tears of joy. These moments become a necklace or garland of tears that ultimately form the sequence of one individual’s life. But as we all know, water sustains life and so one could say that these tears also give rise to new seeds of experience and increased understanding of the world and the self. I do not create art only for myself, but also hope that I can communicate a shared experience or even give rise to an insight in someone else’s fertile ground.

Born into a family of professional photographers in Finland, images have always played an intimate role in my life. In 1991, while an art student in France, I started to do symbolic artwork as a result of a deepening interest in the interpretation of dreams and various esoteric worldviews (I later received a Master's degree in comparative religion). Ever since, my main focus has been that of capturing a sense of alienation and despair teamed with hope and a desire to create meaning out of suffering. I attempt to improve the connections between mind, body and spirit. I have a conviction of the power of spirit and its expression through human creativity and the deeper values of compassion, tolerance and honesty. I believe that it is important to think more in terms of both-and rather than either-or, and so deep paradoxes are usually embedded in my pieces of art.
Due to various challenges, I have experienced the social status of someone that society thinks of as second-rate. All in all, even though the themes may appear dark at times, my images are usually imbued with a desire to overcome adversity. Although I started out by drawing and painting on paper (mixed media, in other words), I resorted to the creation of collages due to physical difficulties. I am fascinated with the interaction between a particular feeling, state of being or social critique that enters my mind and the images that I discover and compile to match these visions. I enjoy the communication that takes place between me and the collective. I also add my own visual elements such as personal photos and drawings. My aim is to present my personal sphere of reference in relation to the rest of the world in symbolic terms, as I find symbols a powerful way of conveying a mixture of thoughts and feelings. My symbolic language is in parts universal, in parts personal. I feel affinity with artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Gustav Klimt, Renée Magritte and Frida Kahlo. I say with Frida Kahlo that although my art may appear surreal, this is not quite true since I actually express my own reality and not a fabricated one.

I decorated the café with a Christmasy tablecloth from the Swedish shop Indiska and things I bought in junk shops for our wedding.We offered  mulled wine  (mulled wine) and  mince pies (as you are not allowed to bring your own food, the cafe supplies it at cafe prices).

A small selection of artwork that I have on show:

Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "Where There is Hope - There is Life" copyright 2008

Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "Some Things Should Never be Forgotten", copyright 2008

Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "The Past Comes Crumbling Down", copyright 2008
Unless Martin hung my paintings, I would no longer be able to hold exhibitions.

Read more about my show in the blog post 'Music in Wales. "

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