A sanctuary is a place of safety and refuge. It is also a sacred place, a shrine or a private cabinet. Its Latin etymology and meaning, sanct-uarium, takes us also to conceive it as a container where to keep something inside; protected.
This exhibition, specially conceived for the spaces of Forum Box gallery, displays the works of the visual artists Roma Auskalnyte, Suvi Sysi, and Inma Herrera. Having a unique and particular understanding of the role of art spaces in the times we live, Sanctuary has become the perfect metaphor for the artists to speak within a common framework with their intimate and personal voices to display their perspective on this matter.
Their projects address topics regarding the role of the human body with dogmas inspired by certain historic stories, the captivating mysteries of actions, images, and repetitive elements which explore the transformation of materials and surfaces.
The three artists share a common background in printmaking and explore the media in an interdisciplinary and expanded way, establishing dialogues with video, sculpture, installation, and performance. The exhibition displays the new directions of their practice. The works, and their dialogue with space, become the vessel for a set of unanswered questions that explore phenomenologically, conceptually, and poetically our relationship to body, materials, and images.
The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Roma Auskalnyte (1988 Lithuania) is an interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Helsinki, Finland. She analyses the body and its surface, how to work with it and to work on it. She tends to experiment with different media from printmaking to performance or even photography looking for the right way to express her thoughts and concepts.
Sysi is a visual artist from Helsinki (born in Nilsiä 1990). Her artworks are mainly installations, where she often investigates time, momentarity and its appearance. Her art often question the boundaries between a ready and an unready artwork. What can be revealed from the process of the actual art making, the physical and haptic touch together with color have become the center of her art. She works with various mediums such as paper, wood and plaster, always trying to lure something new into the sight out of the material being worked with. She describes her practise as a co-operation between her and the materials.
Inma Herrera (1986, Madrid) is a Spanish visual artist based in Helsinki since 2014. Her projects focus on the scrutiny and thorough analysis of image-making processes, where the production of a matrix is involved. She resorts to printmaking and experiments with the media exploring its possibilities in relation to installation, video-performance, and sculpture. She develops practice-based projects which examine the genesis of an image and its process of transformation with regards to the relationship between makers and materials, the physical dimension of labour, and the revival of the craftsmanship in defiance of the ‘relative dematerialisation’ of the body in an era of virtuality. Herrera was recently awarded the Ducat Prize 2020.