In this narrative exhibition planned for the museum’s premises, ceramics skilfully transform into everything from floating seeds to charred trees according to themes related to the life cycle.
Tonnes of clay and hundreds of metres of logs
The desire and burning enthusiasm towards testing the boundaries of ceramics have taken Pentik from a ceramics factory to large installations, which were last showcased at Kunsthalle Helsinki in 2017. Inspired by the success at Kunsthalle, she has been working on the exhibition that will be showcased at WAM for a little over two years. According to the artist, she has used more than 400 metres of logs that are almost 200 years old, 900 kilos of stoneware clay, 800 kilos of slip and 600 kilos of paper porcelain for making the works.
Journey to art
Anu Pentik (b. 1942), who has been awarded the Pro Finlandia medal, has walked an eventful and colourful path, from design and utility ceramics to artistic work, which she has been focusing on for the last decade. The artist, who lives and works in Posio, looks at her surroundings with sensitive eyes. Her works are inspired by the animals, colours and shapes of the nature in Lapland but, above all, by the shades of the life she has led.
The exhibition features a video art piece created by Alia Farid as a commission for the Sharjah biennial. To capture the piece, the artist travelled hundreds of kilometres from the tip of the Arabian peninsula all the way to the Iranian Island of Qeshm during the celebration of Nowruz Sayadeen, the “Fisherman's new year”. On this day all fishing activities —a symbol of the village’s livelihood— stop as a tribute to nature.
Alia Farid’s essay film journeys through the traditions of celebration on an island where life flows according to its own unique rhythm, based on the eternal turning of the seasons. During the celebrations certain characters stand out from the crowd, such as the camel, the horse, the bird, and the pastor’s son. The choirs of people participating to the rite constitute the rhythmical base of the narration that moves from a domestic scene to a desert landscape where prop-like-animals are dancing together with the humans.
At the Time of the Ebb, as most of Farid’s artistic researches, depicts the life and culture of the local people through various micro-narratives. Farid picks imaginative vistas from the moments she captures, and through them creates a scenario steeped in myth and magical naturalism. the piece acts as a reminder of the complexities of modern life while offering a surprising viewpoint to the life of a people living in a politically charged border zone. Farid's work acts as commentary to questions on national and ideological borders.
Alia Farid (b.1985) lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico. Her work gives visibility to narratives that are obscured by hegemonic power Farid utilises a multidisciplinary practice that ranges from writing and drawing to film, sculpture, and installation. She has forthcoming solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAMSTL) in 2022 and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto in 2023.