Leena Vainio, Saudade and Oblivion, 2020

Exhibition at Sepän talo, Alfredinkatu 3, 1.9.–12.9.2020. Open during Tue-Thu 12-18, Fri-Sat 12-15.

Residency during August-September
Leena Vainio (FI)

” But when from a long- distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.” (Proust:. In Search of Lost Time, Combray)

This exhibition tells of early childhood memories. The works are based on memoirs and related old objects, photographs and landscapes. The works include, for example, Vainio’s grandparents Vilma and Aku, who once lived in Rauma.

Leena Vainio paints with water-soluble oil paints, depending on the subjects, either abstract or figurative works. In installations, she often uses light materials which are in touch with the skin, such as bed linen. Sometimes the works include embroidery and linen or accessories sewn by her grandmother Vilma, who was a seamstress.

Vainio is a visual artist who lives in Pirkanmaa in Tampere region. Currently she is continuing her Master of Arts studies at Kankaanpää Art School, SAMK. For the studies she explores early, dreamlike childhood memories as she was born and spent her childhood and school years in Rauma. Vainio will also do her written thesis and artistic research during her RaumArs residency.

Mental states, subconscious, dreams, and vulnerability are key themes in Vainio’s work.

All those elements are present in the earliest memories. Why are some memories bright and accurate? Why so much has completely been forgotten? What in the memories is what others have told, inferred from the pictures, dreamed of? You can't be sure of anything. It is a delicious starting point for artistic work.

– Leena Vainio