Tuuli Oikkonen (1989) explores the beauty and difficulty of the human mind with her artworks. Through her art, she contemplates which things affect our minds both positively and negatively, by activating or crippling, encouraging or utterly breaking in this special time of ours. She has recently been particularly interested in how mankind's own actions affect our world, environment and nature, and back again humanity itself. In layering thin paint veils, she reflects the different levels of understanding and experience in life. Painting a new layer on top of the previous one, she tries to emphasize what is at its lowest, referring to the tendency of mankind or society to hide the most painful parts of the past. Oikkonen doesn’t believe that we can, or that we even should, hide the parts that has hurt the most, be it our personal background or the tragedies of our society. In the works, the transparency of the veils gives the impression of trust, perhaps even innocence, while questioning whether anything can ever be hidden or can ever be seen? Layered works also ask; is that what we are trying to cover in fact is the most visible part?
The visual language at Oikkonen's artworks doesn’t refer to any familiar form or shape with meaning. In her works, she describes often something that can’t be seen or that isn’t palpable. But with the meanings that we have we can make something meaningful, even familiar, out of those abstractions. She undermines the balance and breaks the harmony, yet in a way that the artwork itself seems to be balanced and enjoyable. As a technique, unpredictable and challenging, a very fluid paint is necessary for Oikkonen’s expression. With that the expression is airy, delicate and almost moving. While exploring the perhaps visible aspects of herself, she often works with different techniques of art graphics. Having always considered herself as an artisan Oikkonen is most keen on techniques that include natural materials such as wood and stone (woodcut graphic and lithography). But she thinks that the technique is that important. When the artwork is finished, its technique is forgotten and replaced with a finished work - color, shape, emotion. The work itself makes the piece interesting, technique is just a tool.
Oikkonen wonders: “What I do is very intuitive. I admit that when I start a new piece, I often don’t even know what it will look like. However, I know what I'm looking for, what I want and how I get there. Paradoxically. Therefore, one could say that my works are always a reflection of my thoughts. My hands, the spatula I work with and the paint are just a tool, a continuum to my mind, of repeating what’s inside me. The feeling when the work is complete is difficult to verbalize. How do you know when the artwork is ready if you didn't know what it was going to look like when you started? Well, I just know it. I notice that the works within the themes that I am dealing with adhere to certain laws. The rules I created for them and that way they form a series of converging. The number of works in a series is determined by when I consider I’m done with the theme."
Tuuli Oikkonen currently lives and works in Turku and is a member of the Turku Artists' Association. However, she has lived most of her life in northern Finland. The north and Nordic nature is a big part of her identity and inevitably influences her visual expression. The two most important inspirers for Oikkonen, both as a woman and as an artist, are the brave, talented and sensitive, Tove Jansson (1914–2001), and Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) from US, creator of incredible color vails.
Group exhibition, DIRT 30.3. - 19.4.2020, B-Galleria
Art Room Gallery "Open" online exhibition
Usva/savu w/Rita Junes, 17.10.-31.12.2018, Voimala 1889, Oulu
Process of Change IV 4.-16.12.2018, Galerie Pleiku, Berlin
minä. 16.8.-28.9.2018, Kolo Lounge, Oulu
Process of Change III 3.-21.10.2018, Galleria Kajaste, Helsinki
Process of Change II 9.-27.5.2018, Galleria Kajaste, Oulu
Process of Change 13.-28.3.2018, Galleria Kilo, Rovaniemi