Najia Fatima’s review of Inka Bell’s exhibition Shift and Marianne Siri’s exhibition Least Concern


This exhibition embraces the shifting nature of movement—of layers of time, space and materiality, hence the title Shift. The artist, Inka Bell, explores these subtle movements through the materiality of paper. A material used universally due to its accessibility and most widely understood for its ability to hold knowledge, the paper, in this case acts as a catalyst for the sense of movement that permeates the space. The cuts, incisions and arrangements create shapes within the paper that play with light and allow the audience to move their bodies in relation to the work for a complete spatial experience. The lightness of the paper is contrasted with the metal frames that encompass it. These frames hold the work together while obscuring the paper’s lightness, grounding the work in weighted reality.

The materiality of the piece effectively communicates the intentions while the subtle conceptual framework underlying the process is increasingly visible with each moment spent with the work. Inka Bell’s creations transcend verbalization and external interpretations. They prioritize the sensory realms established between the observer, the artwork, the surroundings, and the moment. These sculptural bodies dynamically change, bend, and transform in response to the position and perspective of the observer. This moment of encounter fosters active engagement and encourages the observer to shift their own position. To experience the work in its totality is to reach, crouch, lean and twist—exploring the potentials of one’s own body while simultaneously exploring the possibilities offered by the artwork. It is through this movement that the changes become apparent.

Beginning with these tangible physical elements, and acting through the body of the observed, the works conclude with a deeper evocation at a subconscious level.

Least Concern

Marianne Siri’s Least Concern includes plaster and ceramic sculptures that predominantly feature female figures, alongside a few animals and a young boy. This exhibition was prompted by the concept of humans as ‘least-concern species’–referring to a type of species classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as abundant in the wild and therefore not requiring conservation efforts. While critiquing the anthropocentrism of such conceptual frameworks, Marianne’s sculptures also unveil a captivating array of three-dimensional pieces, each with its own unique story to tell. The artworks aim to highlight the diversity of nature, the sacredness of life along with the influence of social media–ultimately challenging the perceptions of nature existing solely for human consumption.

While thematically the work dives into greater environmental concerns, the formal elements of the artwork showcase a profound level of artistic techniques and craftsmanship. Through meticulous attention to detail and experimentation of materials, every artwork captivates and holds the viewer’s attention. The towering Marie (painted plaster and ceramic, 2021) occupies the central location of the install. She draws great attention due to the height of her hair and the intensity of color inspired by French aristocracy. Marie stands in stark contrast to the white sculptures that encompass it––standing in homogeneity to each other and inviting a close inspection. The exhibition offers a diverse range of styles and mixed materials.

Najia Fatima



Photos: Anna Autio.