The paintings in the exhibition iiris ≈ siiri pose questions about the facts of life. How a tree becomes a tree, how a flower becomes a flower? How and when did I become me? What does individuality or having a free will mean, when the development of our eyes and brains are dictated by our genes and affected constantly by our surroundings. We only see what our eyes are able to see. The world is filtered to us trough our eyes and bodies, which are shaped by the life lived. The emergence of a painting resembles humans’ orbicular being and traces of life materialize in them through a similar process.
Making this exhibition has been a journey from personal experiences to experiencing the world as it is, from analyzing the psyche of the individual towards seeing a human as a part of the biological universe. This body of work is a kind of a new language; new vocabulary and a new peculiar syntax which the maker and the viewer of them first needs to tame in order to communicate.
To look is often disapproved. But it takes also the light and the object that penetrates into the lookers body with its radiation, why aren’t they disapproved? How the world mauls the eye that surrenders to its caresses. I accuse the world of its shameless ugliness and beauty that makes me stare!
The exhibition has been supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Siiri Haarla (b. 1986) is visual artist based in Helsinki and Berlin. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (MFA) in 2011 and from University of Helsinki (BA) in the faculty of Comparative Literature in 2020. Her latest solo shows were in Live gallery (2021), Mältinranta Art Center (2020) and Painters Unions’ Tm-gallery (2018). She has also participated in several group shows such as The Young in Helsinki Kunsthalle (2019) and Mänttä Artweek (2014). Haarla’s work is included in the Finnish State Art Commission, EMO Foundation and private collections.