|"Puusta pudonneet" – Galleria G, Helsinki|
GALLERIA G November 12-30, 2008
When stepping in Gallery G and Marja Hakala’s exhibition, the visitor will be surprised. The same autumn leaves which were flying around in the streets a few moments earlier have now been organised in precise patterns on white painted boards. In another room, the crystals of a large chandelier, reaching from the ceiling down to the floor, have been replaced by squirrel bitten cones.
Marja Hakala is known for her environmental art, too. Often she has taken her works of art out in nature but this time she has brought a piece of nature into the gallery. As before, the works have been designed for this particular space.
Nature means the world to Marja Hakala. It is a life prerequisite and a source of inspiration but also an endless warehouse of material. In these works, the artist has used leaves, cones, needles and other plant parts which she has been collecting and preserving for over five years. Some of the material has been found right around the corner from her studio, some are from the Hesperia Park. Marja Hakala’s interest in plants differs from that of a botanist. She is attracted by colours, shapes and texture rather than by Latin names and families.
The delicate material forces the artist to an extremely slow working process. Individual plant parts have been attached to the works by gluing and sowing. Through endless repetition, Marja Hakala’s working method creates a meditative spirit and state - not unlike the mandalas which the Tibetan monks create out of sand grains and pigment.
In her works, Marja Hakala has given a totally new meaning to recycling. From nature, she picks up only items which have fulfilled their task: dead leaves, empty seedcases, meal remains of birds and other creatures of the forest. An observant spectator will notice that parts of leaves cut from a work have been used in another piece of art. Nothing is lost.