Monthly image: A Portrait of a Mountain by Julia Kukkonen
Kukkonen’s work, A Portrait of a Mountain, was completed during her residence in Portugal and it is closely connected with the place, where it was made. The text below gives more details of the work and about Kukkonen as an artist.
Julia Kukkonen: A Portrait of a Mountain, 10 x 3 m, cord and slates, a detail from an installation, 2017
Art means continuous examination of existence and the surrounding world to me. It is a sensitive, attentive and challenging way of observing the existing things. I see art above all as a way of thinking. The artist has a right to place challenging or even completely absurd questions without the pressure of profit responsibility. Idealism is always part of art.
Existence and the related issues are an intolerable mystery to me. It is difficult for me to accept this incomprehensibility. Therefore, I try to categorise, analyse and order my experiences into a comprehensible form. This process is the core of my art and examination of the world. I try to understand what events and things that appear mystical and incomprehensive really are and how they can be categorized or sensitized. I like to make my own kinds of lists, patterns, structures and archives. They create an illusion of order I need in this chaotic world.
I want to know more and understand better.
I’m all the time looking for comprehensive explanations, although in the end every answer or system I can understand only creates more questions and unsolved issues. So, my studies of the world go on forever.
The results of my examinations and observations or an on-going process are often displayed in the form of a performance or an installation. It is the uniqueness of both of these forms that fascinates me. They are works of art which are created for an individual place and time, and they cannot be repeated in the same way anywhere ever again. The materials I use are usually easily available and they don’t produce waste or objects. I use recycled or found things and natural materials. My installations consist of materials and things that in themselves are not works of art but they become one together in their context.
Another important thing in the art forms I use is the freedom they offer. I’m a restless soul, a nomad artist, who finds inspiration by changing the place.
Therefore, it is important that my work is not tied to physical material, objects or a workroom, but I can work with materials I find in the place where I am or even without it. On the other hand, I can leave the works behind me, when the project is finished.
The work of art in the image was created during my residence in Portugal. It is a conceptual analysis of what a mountain is and what its nature is like. A Portrait of a Mountain was created from slates typical of the village I was staying in and it is closely connected with the place, where it was made. It stayed, when I left. It will be there until the weather and rain will eventually break it.
At the moment I’m working in Seinäjoki. I’m working as the first summer artist employed by the cultural services of the city. I study the city of Seinäjoki through performance and I will collect a publication on the basis of my studies, which could be an alternative travel guide to the city.
Julia Kukkonen was born in Kuopio in 1988. She graduated from the Degree Programme in Fine Arts in June, 2017.