Exhibition #54 – Mesi
Sanna Lehto & Matias Liimatainen
The MESI exhibition (Eng. Nectar) is a dialogue between the two young artists Matias Liimatainen and Sanna Lehto. Through ceramic sculptures and photography they both interpret various aspects of nature, maintaining a strong discourse with the man-made world.
Sanna Lehto (b. 1990) is a photographer from Helsinki. She recently completed her Master’s studies in Fine Art Photography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Lehto was one of the finalists of the 33rd edition of the International Festival of Photography at Hyères. There she won the Public and City Of Hyères Prize.
In her ongoing series called Morphologies, a project which started in 2015, Lehto is fascinated by colour combinations and living things; human bodies and plants. Their varying and changing forms are her subject of exploration. Lehto is keen on staging photos and building props by using flowers and different materials.
During the summers Lehto takes long walks in nature, gathering flowers that interest her. It does not matter if the flower is dead or just beginning to grow. Some of them she uses right away in portraits and in still life arrangements, and some she lets dry for over a year and uses them after that.
Both beauty and rejection of it is something that she is interested in. Lehto also uses different liquids in influence of flower nectars and living things’ messiness – both flowers and human bodies burst different kind of liquids from inside.ed in. Lehto also uses different liquids in influence of flower nectars and living things’ messiness – both flowers and human bodies burst different kind of liquids from inside.
Matias Liimatainen (b. 1989) is a sculptor from Nivala, who currently works in Helsinki. He began his studies at the Ceramics and Glass Arts Department in Taik 2009. He is now completing his studies at Aalto University and has been active in the field from the beginning of his studies, participating in several exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Liimatainen mainly uses ceramics and glass as materials for his sculptures, often combining them with materials such as driftwood and stone. Studying the properties, nature and history of the material is essential to him.
Some sculptures in the exhibition have been created in Shigarak, Japan, where he was a visiting artist in 2017. The exact design language of the works has come from borrowed industrial forms. He often uses shapes from everyday objects combined with decorative flower embellishments traditional in porcelain to create the more technical science fiction sculptures.
Lately Liimatainen has evolved his technique from his mold based designs into a more elaborate, natural and abstract direction. He is particularly interested in new ways of using glassware. The vibrancy in glass makes it a great material for a colourist. With the unlimited options of colour Liimatainen draws inspiration from all aspects of nature.