Lokal Creators / Linda Linko

Linda Linko (b.1979) is a Helsinki-based visual artist, who creates images that are linked to momentary experience. Using variations of mixed media, she creates expressive paintings with vibrant colour palettes and a play of layers, textures and the fluidity of water. Figures emerge from memory and become strongly, almost pushingly present. Linko’s paintings come from a place of truth and detail. In her own words: ”I paint how I see things”. Over the course of 20 years, she has also become known as an awarded poster designer, typographer, illustrator and textile designer. We visited her studio just as she had emptied it out to fill the Lokal Gallery space for her solo exhibition Blush (28.10.–19.11.2022).

Lokal Creators / Linda Linko

Linda Linko (b.1979) is a Helsinki-based visual artist, who creates images that are linked to momentary experience. Using variations of mixed media, she creates expressive paintings with vibrant colour palettes and a play of layers, textures and the fluidity of water. Figures emerge from memory and become strongly, almost pushingly present. Linko’s paintings come from a place of truth and detail. In her own words: ”I paint how I see things”. Over the course of 20 years, she has also become known as an awarded poster designer, typographer, illustrator and textile designer. We visited her studio just as she had emptied it out to fill the Lokal Gallery space for her solo exhibition Blush (28.10.–19.11.2022).

Lokal: Can you tell us about your relationship to your works as individual pieces?

Linda Linko: “I don’t necessarily know how to rank works to different levels, they are all important to me in one way or another. Each portrait has its own story and meaning. Characters can represent a certain person, but often they are a combination of many different people’s traits. Some of the figures in the paintings are almost unknown, but have left a strong memory. I often paint personas at a different age than I have known or met them. This leaves enough room for one’s own interpretation. The works are not so much about who is presented, but how they are presented.”

L: Are there any that are particularly important to you, or any stories that you might associate to them?

LL: “A few paintings feature a character named Inge, who is based on my father’s maternal grandmother. Her young figure appears in several paintings, painted by her husband’s brother. The unifying factor of the characters in these paintings was the large and glaring eyes. My memory of the living Inge’s eyes is also similar, big, round, hundred-year-old almond eyes. I like to play with the idea of ​​what she might have been like when she was young, when the wisdom and certainty brought by age was still far on the horizon. As the name suggests, ‘Forever Lost Portrait of Inge’ refers to an existing painting that we have lost of her.”

“Artist Being an Artist is in a way a self-portrait, but also of all the artists I’ve ever known.”

“Turkulainen is based on a photograph of a brisk and happy-looking navy sailor, whom I only got to know decades later.”

“Boy from Internet portrays everybody in a way, and nobody. Whether he even exists, there is no certainty about that either. One disappearing square image among all the other squares. ‘May I flirt?’ is originally from the same idea, but he has completely taken over the square image. There is hardly any empty space left. It’s a conscious bet on his part, even though he pretends it isn’t. Actually, we wouldn’t want to look at the picture this closely, there are already too many of them. But somewhere there is someone, someone to whom this particular square image appeals.”

Shop: Linda Linko’s Work

Explore: Lokal Creators

Lokal Creators / Sini Villi

Sini Villi is a textile artist living and working in Helsinki, Finland. In her work Villi uses handmade ribbon to create three-dimensional textile reliefs and sculptures. We visited her Helsinki studio on a summer afternoon just after she’d set up her White Wall exhibition, Ammonites.

Lokal Creators / Fanny Tavastila

Fanny Tavastila is a painter who lives and works in Helsinki. We visited her studio at the Cable Factory one dark November afternoon to get a closer look at her works, which posess an innate and lyrical sense of colour, rhythm, texture and composition.

Lokal Creators / Hanni Koroma

Hanni Koroma is an award-winning Finnish interior architect and furniture designer. In her work, Koroma combines functionality and aesthetics into timeless entities where her philosophic values in sustainable and playful design meet. Koroma says that space is like a poem that evolves constantly. Her new Lohkoja cabinets are centrepieces of our summer exhibition Butterflies & Seeds. 

Lokal Creators / Minna Arponen

Minna Arponen is a jewellery designer and maker from Helsinki. Recently, she’s been fascinated by the tiny glass beads that she used to play with in her childhood. We visited her studio where most of her pieces take form, if not in her lap on tram rides through the city.